Don’t take it too personally

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!

Just watching

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.

Darryl Bailey

Being content with the ordinary

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