The problem is not necessarily working hard, the problem is working so hard and long without rest that we begin to imagine that we’re the ones making everything happen. We begin to feel a growing, gnawing sense of responsibility and grandiosity about how important our work is and how we can’t stop because everything is on our shoulders. We forget that forces much larger than we are, in fact, do most of the work.
Life is going to unfold however it does: pleasant or unpleasant, disappointing or thrilling, expected or unexpected, all of the above! What a relief it would be to know that whatever wave comes along, we can ride it out with grace. What Right Aspiration translates to in terms of daily action is the resolve to behave in a way that stretches the limits of conditioned response. Life is a terrific gym. Every situation is an opportunity to practice.
Sylvia Boorstein, It’s Easier Than You Think: The Buddhist Way to Happiness”
Very wet and windy this morning, the beginning of of a storm. The news today is full of agitation and uncertainty, including Brexit, Ukraine, migration and the lack of vision of our “leaders”. Where can we find a firm ground?
O to be self-balanced for contingencies, to confront night, storms, hunger, ridicule, accidents, rebuffs, as the trees and animals do
If I am not careful – if I rise frantic from my bed, full of small concerns – the mystical flow of imagination at rest will be broken, the past and the future will rush in to claim my mind and I will be swept up into life’s petty details and myriad obligations…Something precious is lost if we rush headlong into the details of life without pausing for a moment to pay homage to the mystery of life and the gift of another day.
Kent Nerburn, Small Graces, The Quiet Gifts of Everyday Life
When someone says or does something that I find either obnoxious or unattractive – anything that my ego uses to separate myself from others – I’ll just soften my eyes and fall back into that “something else.” That something else is what does the transforming – it is the grace that makes it work. My only effort is to be aware enough to realize what’s happening. The moment of realizing is actually, in itself, a form of healing. The moment I see that and am willing to fall back into grace, then there’s a possibility for something different to happen within myself. Instead of judging an experience – which makes more separation- I can fall back into letting the universe handle it. This is a gift that’s quite freeing.
Kathleen Dowling Singh, The Grace in Living: Recognize It, Trust It, Abide in It