This is the primary…affirmation within all of Scripture…
To believe that we and our world are good, very good;
to take delight in our lives and in each other;
to live lives that radiate joy rather than depression, boredom, and resentment;
well … that sounds simple and easy, but remains a rare thing that’s seldom accomplished.
The most important challenge that all of us face in life is to….bless rather than to curse!
Ron Rolheiser, Blessing and Cursing Life
At Ryoan-ji in Kyoto there is a famous rock garden;
Wherever in it a person stands, one of the fifteen rocks cannot be seen.
The garden reminds that always something unknowable is present, just beyond what can be perceived or comprehended – and that something is as much part of the real as any other stone amid the raked gravel.
Much of life is ruined for us by a blanket or shroud of familiarity that descends between us and everything that matters. It dulls our senses and stops us appreciating everything, from the beauty of a sunset to our work and our friends. Children don’t suffer from habit, which is why they get excited by some very key but simple things — like puddles, jumping on the bed, sand, and fresh bread. But we adults get ineluctably spoiled, which is why we seek ever more powerful stimulants, like fame and love.
The trick …. is to recover the powers of appreciation of a child in adulthood, to strip the veil of habit and therefore to start to look upon daily life with a new and more grateful sensitivity.
Alain de Botton, How Proust Can Change Your Life
There’s a kind of basic misunderstanding that we should try to be better than we already are, that we should try to improve ourselves, that we should try to get away from painful things, and that if we could just learn how to get away from the painful things, then we would be happy.
When we practice meditation, we practice a double movement: there is a movement of return to the breath, a movement of recollection of presence, of samadhi — and there is a movement of mindfulness, of allowing everything to be just as it is. Last Sunday, I realized that the movement of return can also be a movement of allowing, of self-forgiveness. All the prodigal sons and daughters of our thoughts and dreams and gnarly little complexes are welcome to come to the feast of this present moment.
Tracy Cochran, Be a Lighthouse
A quote for the beginning of the most important week in the Christian calendar:
The quieter you become
The more you can hear
photo USFWS Mountain Prairie
Heaven and Earth give themselves.
Air, water, plants, animals, and humans give themselves to each other.
It is in this giving-themselves-to-each-other that we actually live.
Whether you appreciate it or not, it is true.
Kodo Sawaki, 1880 – 1965, Japanese Sōtō Zen teacher