There’s no inner landscape in the invisible world of our souls and hearts but is full of the most melodious and nourishing and wild freedom. And everyone should go there, to the wild place, where there are no cages, where there are not tight rooms without windows and without doors. Everyone should go to the free clearance places in their own hearts
When we find our life unpleasant or unfulfilling, we try to escape the unpleasantness by various subtle escape mechanisms. In such attempts we are dealing with our lives as if there’s me and then there’s life outside me. As long as we approach our lives in this way we will bend all of our efforts to finding something or somebody else to handle our lives for us. We may look for a lover, a teacher, a religion, a center — something, or somebody, somewhere, to handle our difficulties for us. As long as we see our lives in this dualistic fashion we fool ourselves and believe that we need not pay any price for a realized life.
Charlotte Joko Beck, Everyday Zen
Healing depends on listening with the inner ear – stopping the incessant blather, and listening. Fear keeps us chattering – fear that wells up from the past, fear of blurting out what we really fear, fear of future repercussions. It is our very fear of the future that distorts the now that could lead to a different future if we dared to be whole in the present.
Marion Woodman, Jungian Analyst
When the shoe fits, the foot is forgotten,
When the belt fits, the belly is forgotten,
When the heart is right
“For” and “against” are forgotten.
No drives, no compulsions,
No needs, no attractions:
Then your affairs are under control.
You are a free person.
Easy is right. Begin right
And you are easy.
Continue easy and you are right.
The right way to go easy
Is to forget the right way
And forget that the going is easy.
Chuang Tzu, 4th Century BC, In the Dark Before Dawn, (trans. Thomas Merton)
There is often a harmony between ancient stories and modern psychology. Yesterday’s reading in the Catholic liturgy reminded us to “stay awake“. When the Buddha started to teach, he met some who, recognizing something special in him, asked: “Are you a god?” He simply replied: “I am awake.”
So…. staying aware of what is around us, pausing and noticing – not taking small things too seriously or getting submerged in the worries of this Monday – seems to be related to psychological health.
Goethe gives us a simple practical way :
A man should hear a little music,
read a little poetry,
and see a fine picture every day of his life,
in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful
which God has implanted in the human soul.
Went to an outlet mall in Kildare yesterday to get some bread, 30 minutes before the other stores opened. 8.30 am, car parks already full, even buses arriving with shoppers from around the country. The modern Western tendency toward mid-winter speeding up and shopping. An interior felt-sense of running…
Advertising finds fertile ground in the mind’s response to an underlying sense of life as unsatisfactory. Meditation is essentially training the mind to free it from the type of craving which generates stress and anxiety.
How much does a person lack in him or herself
who must have many things?
– 1591, Japanese Zen Tea master