We make our own problems


When you are completely absorbed in your breathing there is no self.  What is your breathing?  That breathing is not you, nor air.  What is it?  It is not self at all.  When there is no self you have absolute freedom.  Because you have a silly idea of self you have a lot of problems.  So I say your problems are homemade.

Suzuki Roshi, teaching June 1st, 1966

Fully here and yet not

No one needs to tell us

we are already on our onward way,

no one has to remind us

of our everyday and intimate

embrace with disappearance.

We were born saying goodbye

to what we love,

we were born

in a beautiful reluctance,

not quite ready

to breathe in this new world,

we are here and we are not,

we are present while still not

wanting to admit we have arrived.

David Whyte, Cleave

In the midst of life, just wash the bowl

Once a monk made a request of Joshu.
“I have just entered the monastery,” he said. “Please give me instructions, Master.”
Joshu said, “Have you had your breakfast?”
“Yes, I have,” replied the monk.
“Then,” said Joshu, “wash your bowls.”
The monk had an insight.

I love this koan. I am the student in the midst of my life, waiting for life to happen. How do we enter our life fully? It is right here. How do we want to live? Can we allow all the joys and sorrows to enliven us? Or do we just go along with all our patterns and habits? People who are dying always remind me: ‘I can’t believe I wasn’t here for most of my life.’ That’s one of the most common things I hear, and the biggest regrets. Many people have not inhabited their life because they’re just waiting for other moments. Are we waiting for life to happen in the midst of life? How can we give ourselves fully to our lives, moment to moment? Don’t wait. Life is always right here.

Koshin Paley Ellison, Huffington Post