Still we stumble

A Full moon this evening.

A single moon
Bright and clear in an unclouded sky:
Yet still we stumble
In the world’s darkness
Have a good look:
stop the breath, peel off the skin,
and everybody ends up looking the same.
No matter how long you live,
the result is not altered.
Who will not end up as a skeleton?

Cast off the notion that “I
exist.” …. Entrust yourself to the windblown
clouds, and do not wish to live forever

Ikkyū, 1394 – 1481, Japanese Zen Buddhist monk and poet, in John Stevens, Wild Ways: Zen Poems of Ikkyu

Finding the way back home

Its important for me to meditate…to let go of my thoughts breath by breath and instead slowly lean back into that which was inside me before I was born, and which will endure when the rest of me dies. For me its like something I’ve longed for all my life, without knowing what it was. As though someone, for as long as I can remember, has been sitting on my shoulder whispering “Come home”

So how does one find the way back home? The best answer to that question I’ve come across so far comes from Meister Eckhart, a German priest in the early fourteenth century who was supposedly enlightened. After a Sunday sermon, an elderly member of his congregation came up to him and said “Meister Eckhart, you have clearly met God. Please help me to get to know God like you do. But your advice must be very simple as my memory is failing me”

“It’s very simple” Meister Eckhart replied. “All you need to do to meet God the way I have, is to fully understand who is looking out through your eyes”

Bjorn Natthiko Lindeblad, I May be Wrongand other wisdoms from life as a Forest Monk.

You didn’t mess up

I feel gratitude to the Buddha for pointing out that what we struggle against all our lives can be acknowledged as ordinary experience.

Life does continually go up and down. People and situations are unpredictable and so is everything else.

Everybody knows the pain of getting what we don’t want: saints, sinners, winners, losers. I feel gratitude that someone saw the truth and pointed out that we don’t suffer this kind of pain because of our personal inability to get things right.

Pema Chodron

Watch the excuses

When you blame, you open up a world of excuses,

because as long as you’re looking outside,

you miss the opportunity to look inside,

and you continue to suffer.

 Donna Quesada, Buddha in the Classroom: Zen Wisdom to Inspire Teachers