My motto has always been: “Always merry and bright.” Perhaps that is why I never tire of quoting Rabelais: “For all your ills I give you laughter.” As I look back on my life, which has been full of tragic moments, I see it more as a comedy than a tragedy. The man who takes himself seriously is doomed…
There is nothing wrong with life itself. It is the ocean in which we swim and we either adapt to it or sink to the bottom. But it is in our power as human beings not to pollute the waters of life, not to destroy the spirit which animates us.
The most difficult thing for a creative individual is to refrain from the effort to make the world to his liking and to accept his fellow man for what he is, whether good, bad or indifferent.
Henry Miller, 1891 – 1980, American writer and artist.
The practice of cultivating a loving and kind attitude towards ourselves and others, is not a self-improvement technique but an act of quiet daring. As we let down our habitual guard, as we soften and relax, allowing ourselves to loosen the grip of the thoughts and fears that haunt us, we remember the life is here, quietly offering itself to us in this very moment. We remember that we inhabit bodies that come to us from ancestors who endured and overcame much. We remember our deep connection to the earth and also to the stars. We are made of earth stuff and star stuff.
There will always be times when you feel discouraged.
I too, have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it.
I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate
Clarissa Pinkola Estes
We often ask, ‘what’s wrong?’ Doing so, we invite painful seeds of sorrow to come up and manifest. We feel suffering, anger, and depression, and produce more such seeds. We would be much happier if we tried to stay in touch with the healthy, joyful seeds inside of us and around us. We should learn to ask, ‘what’s not wrong?’ and be in touch with that.
One of my favourite thoughts from Thich Nhat Hahn, who died yesterday, aged 95
The human body at peace with itself
Is more precious than the rarest gem.
Cherish your body.
It is yours this time only.
The human form is won with difficulty.
It is easy to lose.
All worldly things are brief,
Like a flash of lightning in the sky.
This life you must know as the tiny splash of a raindrop
That disappears even as it comes into being.
Therefore set your goal.
Make use of every day and night to achieve it
Je Tsongkhapa, 1357–1419, Tibetan Buddhist monk
It takes a long time to sift through the more superficial voices of your own gift in order to enter into the deep signature and tonality of your Otherness. When you speak from that deep, inner voice, you are really speaking from the unique tabernacle of your own presence. There is a voice within you that no one, not even you, has ever heard. Give yourself the opportunity of silence and begin to develop your listening in order to hear, deep within yourself, the music of your own spirit.
John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: Spiritual Wisdom from the Celtic World