If you remember nothing else, always remember this one great secret of spiritual practice: we don’t have to feel any particular way. We don’t have to have special experiences, nor do we have to be any particular way. With whatever arises, whether it’s pleasing or not, try to remember that all we can do is experience and work with whatever our life is right now. No matter what life is and no matter how we feel about it, all that matters in practice is whether we can honestly acknowledge what is going on, and then stay present with the physical experience of that moment.
Ezra Bayda, Zen Heart
We have to be patient with ourselves. Over and over again we think we need to be somewhere else, and we must find the truth right here, right now; we must find our joy here, now. How seductive it is, the thought of tomorrow. We must find our understanding here. We must find it here; it is always here; this is where the grass is green.
John Tarrant, Calling on the name of Avalokiteshvara
We come here to search…
to go on searching through silence and meditation,
to get in touch with our inner life.
Christ always said,
Do not worry,
Br Roger of Taize
God comes to you disguised as your life
Paula D’Arcy, Writer and retreat leader
After a certain amount of sitting, the world looks brighter, sounds are sharper,
and there’s a richness of sensory input,
which is just our natural state if we are not blocking out experience with our tense worrying minds
Charlotte Joko Beck, Nothing Special
Sometimes you do your best but you are met with mistrust, or things don’t quite work out as planned:
Somebody says something to you that is designed to hurt. Instead of going into unconscious reaction and negativity, such as attack, defense, or personal withdrawal, you let it pass right through you. Offer no resistance. It is as if there is nobody there to get hurt anymore. That is forgiveness. In this way, you become invulnerable. You can still tell that person that his or her behavior is unacceptable, if that is what you choose to do. But that person no longer has the power to control your inner state. You are then in your power — not in someone else’s, nor are you run by your mind. Whether it is a car alarm, a rude person, a flood, an earthquake, or the loss of all your possessions, the mechanism is the same.
Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now.