One way we need to work with the mind these days is to notice the beauty in the ordinary moments of each day…
I have seen the sun break through to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the pearl
of great price, the one field that had
treasure in it. I realize now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying
on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.
R.S. Thomas, The Bright Field
With the restriction on movement and activities these days due to the virus and our caring for each other by creating some distance, we renounce some of the things we would normally like to do. However, this can make space for noticing what we have in our lives, instead of focusing on what we have not.
The ground of renunciation is realizing that we already have exactly what we need,
that what we have already is good.
Every moment of time has enormous energy in it,
and we could connect with that.
On the spiritual path, there’s nothing to get, and everything to get rid of.
Obviously, the first thing to let go of is trying to “get” love, and instead to give it. That’s the secret of the spiritual path. One has to give oneself wholeheartedly. If we want to be loved, we are looking for a support system. If we want to love, we are looking for spiritual growth. Love is the warmth of the heart, the connectedness, the protection, the caring, the concern, the embrace that comes from acceptance & understanding for oneself. Having practiced that, we are in a much better position to practice love toward others. We realize they are just as unlovable as we are, and they have just as many unwholesome thoughts. But that doesn’t matter. When we relate to other people, we can let them just be and love them
The beginning of being fine is noticing how things really are.
1. Life is uncertain, surprises are likely.
2. If you are alive, that’s good; lower the bar.
3. In a dark place, you still have what really counts.
4. If you are in a predicament, there will be a gate.
5. What you need might be given to you.
6. The true life is in between winning and losing.
7. If you have nothing – give it away.
John Tarrant, It Would Be a Pity to Waste A Good Crisis
It was early on in my first meditation class. We had been taught about breathing from our haras [the lower abdomen] and the importance of straight backs and shoulders. I had discovered the knee pain that comes with sitting longer than, say, a half hour. It was overwhelming. Then a tiny little Thich Nhat Hanh teaching, casually expressed, changed my whole experience. It was this:
“Breathing in, I calm body and mind.
Breathing out, I smile.”
Suddenly it was okay to not try to be some samurai warrior meditating through grit teeth. Instead my job was to relax into the posture and to enjoy myself. Behind all of the jetsom and flotsam of everyday life that was circling around in my head like a scrabble game gone rogue was a smile. I still think of this teaching every day.
Geri Larkin, How Can I Love you Better?
Courage. Don’t be too timid or squeamish about your actions.
All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
Ralph Waldo Emerson