The first fruition of the practice is the attainment of froglessness.
When a frog is put on the center of a plate,
she will jump out of the plate after just a few seconds.
If you put the frog back again on the center of the plate,
she will again jump out.
You have so many plans. There is something you want to become.
Therefore you always want to make a leap, a leap forward.
It is difficult to keep the frog still on the center of the plate.
You and I both have Buddha Nature in us.
This is encouraging,
but you and I both have Frog Nature in us.
That is why the first attainment of the practice –
froglessness is its name.
Thich Nhat Hanh
There is a Tibetan saying: ‘When things are difficult, then let yourself be happy.’ Otherwise, if happiness is relying on others or the environment or your surroundings, it’s not possible. Like an ocean, the waves always go like that but underneath, it always remains calm. So we have that ability as well. On an intellectual level, we may see things as desperate, difficult. But underneath, at the emotional level, you can keep calm.
The Dalai Lama
I wonder if we do not waste most of our energy
just by spending every waking minute saying hello to ourselves.
Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
To experience conflicts knowingly, though it may be distressing, can be an invaluable asset. The more we face our own conflicts and seek out our own solutions, the more inner freedom and strength we will gain. Only when we are willing to bear the brunt can we approximate the ideal of being the captain of our ship. A spurious tranquillity rooted in inner dullness is anything but enviable. It is bound to make us weak and an easy prey to any kind of influence.
Karen Horney, Our Inner Conflicts: A Constructive Theory of Neurosis
Go back and take care of yourself. Your body needs you, your feelings need you, your perceptions need you. The wounded child in you needs you. Go home and be there for all these things. Practice mindful walking and mindful breathing. Do everything in mindfulness so you can really be there, so you can love.
Thich Nhat Hanh
In times of deep darkness, we not only need light — we need to be light for one another. That’s a message we must take to heart as we find ourselves lost once again in the all-too-familiar darkness of America’s culture of violence. Who better to deliver that message than Mary Oliver, in a powerful poem that re-tells the story of the Buddha’s last words. Before he died, she tells us, “He looked into the faces of that frightened crowd” and said, “Make of yourself a light.”
We are the frightened crowd the Buddha looked into as he drew his last breath. We are the people who need to be light for one another.