The Pueblo Indian told me that all Americans were always uneasy and restless, “We do not understand them. We think that they are mad” Of course I was somewhat astonished and asked them why. They said – Well, ‘They say that they think with their heads . . . . We think here,’ he said, indicating his heart“
Carl Jung, on his encounter with a Native American elder he met in New Mexico in 1925
Above all, don’t try to become a future Buddha.
Your only concern should be,
as thought follows thought,
to avoid clinging to any of them.
Dogen, Buddhist priest, 1200 – 1253, Founder of the Soto school of Zen
There’s an exercise that can help us reflect on the knee-jerk tendency to cling to what makes us feel good and push away what makes us feel bad:
Sit quietly for a few minutes and become mindful of your breath as it goes in and out. Then contemplate what you do when you’re unhappy or dissatisfied and want to feel better. Even make a list if you want to. Then ask yourself: Does it work? Has it ever worked? Does it soothe the pain? Does it escalate the pain? If you’re really honest, you’ll come up with some pretty interesting observations.
Pema Chödrön, Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change
Treat every moment as your last.
It is not a preparation for something else.
Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
We hear the birds sing,
is the source of all
we see and
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, 1928 – 2018, Canadian author and analytical psychologist, The Pregnant Virgin