Underneath

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.

Looking at the wind

When we recognize and become grounded in awareness of awareness, the “wind” of emotion may still blow. But instead of being carried away by the wind, we turn our attention inward, watching the shifts and changes with the intention of becoming familiar with that aspect of consciousness that recognizes Oh, this is what I’m feeling, this is what I’m thinking. As we do so, a bit of space opens up within us. With practice, that space — which is the mind’s natural clarity — begins to expand and settle. We can begin to watch our thoughts and emotions without necessarily being affected by them quite as powerfully or vividly as we’re used to. We can still feel our feelings, think our thoughts, but slowly our identity shifts from a person who defines him – or herself as lonely, ashamed, frightened, or hobbled by low self-esteem to a person who can look at loneliness, shame, and low self-esteem as movements of the mind.

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, The Aim of Attention

 

Autumn winds

We sometimes give a lot of importance to things which simply pass through the day. Might make life easier to observe our emotions and moods without holding onto them too firmly

The pure wind circles the earth and shakes it time after time,
But who can pluck it up and show it to you?

Keizan Jokin Zenji, (1300) Great Patriarch of Sōtō Zen Buddhism, Denkōroku, kōan collection w

Gates

When we wake up in the morning, right away we turn on the computer and check our email or read the news on our phone… We live in a world of constant information, available any time and anywhere. But in such a world, we have all the more reason to maintain proper on and off switches.

This is why distinctions are so important. Try erecting gates in your mind

For example, the threshold of your home constitutes the first gate. When you leave home and cross this first gate, thoughts of work of work start to form in your head. The door of your car or the train is the second gate; once you cross it you start planning out your work day. And finally, when you arrive at your office and cross the third gate, you are ready to focus on your work

When the work day is over and you arrive back at the first gate, it’s important to leave work behind. 

Shunmyo Masuno, Zen The Art of Simple Living

Contain all colours

[There is] a phrase in the Book of Equanimity: “A woven brocade contains all colors”

Birth, old age, illness and death, as well as happiness and misfortune, gain and loss, love and hate – all of these are important tools for weaving the brocade of human life. A brocade cannot be woven with the single color of happiness. Given time, place and occasion, everything “contains all colors”. It is in this way that the Pure Land, the Other Shore, is made manifest.

Shundo Aoyama, Zen Seeds