Are you so busy in getting to the future that the present moment is reduced to a means of getting there? Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there,’ or being in the present but wanting to be in the future. It is a split that tears you apart inside
Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
Meditation is a form of training the mind, so that it does not get hooked by all our inner storms, but rather relates to the world, or other people, in a fresh way, just as they are:
Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche used the phrase “first thought, best thought” to refer to that first moment of fresh perception, before the colorful and coloring clouds of judgment and personal interpretation take over. “First thought” is “best thought” because it has not yet got covered over by all our opinions and interpretations, our hopes and fears, our likes and dislikes. It is direct perception of the world as it is.
Dr Jeremy Hayward, First Thought
The most profound change I’m aware of just now is a growing realization that life is not personal. This may seem a surprising or even strange view to those unfamiliar with Eastern spirituality, but it has powerful implications. It’s very freeing to see that events in my life are arising because of circumstances in which I am not involved, but that I’m not at the center of them in any particular way. They’re impersonal. They’re arising because of causes and conditions. They are not “me.” There is a profound freedom in this. It makes life much more peaceful and harmonious because I’m not in reaction to events all the time.
Phillip Moffitt, It’s not Personal!
I remember I would sometimes go visit Ajahn Sumedho in his room. On the wall he had a picture of an old man sitting inside his little cottage on a rainy day, sitting just inside the window, looking out, and in his hand he held a cup of coffee. And I remember Ajahn Sumedho saying, for him this was the essence of meditation. It was really nothing more than just relaxing, and watching the happening of existence. Nothing needed to be explained. Nothing needed to be worked out. There’s just the event of existence presenting itself. Everything we are is simply presented. Whatever words come out, come out, but they’re not important; they’re simply the movement or the non-movement of whatever this happening is and it’s happening all by itself.
The whole of life lies in the verb seeing
Teilhard de Chardin
The breath is not something that we create or imagine; it is a natural process of our bodies that continues as long as life lasts, whether we concentrate on it or not. So it is an object that is always present; we can turn to it at any time. We don’t have to have any qualifications to watch our breath. We do not even need to be particularly intelligent — all we have to do is to be content with, and aware of, one inhalation and exhalation.
Wisdom does not come from studying great theories and philosophies, but from observing the ordinary.
Ajahn Sumedho, Now is the Knowing