stands for all things,
even for those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing.
Galway Kinnell, Saint Francis and the Sow
A lot of modern stress comes from the mistaken belief that we should always be working on a better version of ourselves, always looking for greater success.
In all ten directions of the universe, there is only one truth.
When we see clearly, the great teachings are the same.
What can ever be lost? What can be attained?
If we attain something, it was there from the beginning of time.
If we lose something, it is hiding somewhere near us.
Ryokan, 1758–1831, Zen Monk and poet
Not being tied to our urgent to-do lists:
Consider the lilies of the field…
And you — what of your rushed and
useful life? Imagine setting it all down —
papers, plans, appointments, everything,
leaving only a note: “Gone to the fields
to be lovely. Be back when I’m through
Lynn Ungar, Camas Lilies
By teaching “Do not judge”, the great teachers are saying that you cannot start seeing or understanding anything if you start with “no.” You have to start with a “yes” of basic acceptance, which means not too quickly labeling, analyzing, or categorizing things as in or out, good or bad, up or down. You have to leave the field open, a field in which God and grace can move.
Ego leads with “no” whereas soul leads with “yes.” The ego seems to strengthen itself by constriction, by being against things; and it feels loss or fear when it opens up. “No” always comes easier than “yes,” and a deep, conscious “yes” is the work of freedom and grace. The soul lives by expansion instead of constriction. Spiritual teachers want you to live by positive action, an open field, and studied understanding, and not by resistance, knee-jerk reactions, or defensiveness, and so they always say something like “Do not judge,” as judging is merely a control mechanism.
Richard Rohr, The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics
Happiness is permanent. It is always there.
What comes and goes is unhappiness.
If you identify with what comes and goes, you will be unhappy.
If you identify with what is permanent and always there, you are happiness itself.
Poonjaji, 1910 – 1997, Indian non-dualist teacher
Don’t expect faith to clear things up for you.
It is trust, not certainty
Flannery O’Connor, The Habit of Being