Sunday Quote: Not a dress rehearsal

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?

William Stafford, You Reading This, Be Ready

for E and B, wandering through Italy at this moment

Where is home?

Someday we’ll live in the sky.
Meanwhile, the house of our lives is the world.
The fields, the ponds, the birds.
The thick black oaks — surely they are the
children of God.
The feistiness among the tiger lilies,
the hedges of runaway honeysuckle, that no one owns.

Where is it? I ask, and then
my feet know it.

One jump, and I’m home.

 Mary Oliver, Boundaries

Serenity

He knows how to enjoy the fullness of each moment, as his own mind is serene and at peace. There is a sufficiency in the things around him

At Nantai I sit quietly with an incense burning,

One day of contentment, all things are forgotten,

Not that my mind is stopped and thoughts are put away,

But that there is really nothing to disturb my serenity.

Shou-an , quoted in Suzuki, Essays in Zen Buddhism – First Series 

Appreciate

One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few… My life… lacks this quality of significance and therefore beauty, because there is so little empty space…. There are so few empty pages in my engagement pad, or empty hours in the day, or empty rooms in my life in which to stand alone and find myself. Too many activities, and people, and things. Too many worthy activities, valuable things, and interesting people. For it is not merely the trivial which clutters our lives but the important as well. We can have a surfeit of treasures – an excess of shells, where one or two would be significant.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1906 – 2001, American Writer and Aviator, Author of Gifts of the Sea

The secret

The ridicule or praise of  people means nothing
This is an old truth; Don’t think it was discovered recently.
“I want this, I want that”
Is nothing but foolishness.
I’ll tell you a secret:
All things are impermanent.

Ryoken, 1758–1831,  Zen Buddhist monk and poet