Balance

25% of Irish people check work emails while on holidays.  49% of Irish people between 25 and 34 check social media overnight if they can’t sleep.

Irish Times, Signs of the Times Survey 2019, April 27, 2019.

What is balance in a society whose skewing of time has it totally off-balance? What is balance in a culture that has destroyed the night with perpetual light and keeps equipment going twenty-four hours a day because it is more costly to turn machines on and of than it is to pay people to run them at strange and difficult hours? In the first place balance for us is obviously not a mathematical division of the day. For most of us our days simply do not divide that easily. In the second place, balance for us is clearly not equivalence. Because I have done forty hours of work this week does not mean that I will have forty hours of prayer and leisure. What it does mean, however, is that somehow I must make time for both. I must make time or die inside.

Joan Chittister, Wisdom Distilled from the Daily

 

Getting some perspective

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. 

Wayne Muller, A Time of Sacred Rest

Riding each wave

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”

Self-balanced

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

Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

The purpose of meditation

 

The fundamental purpose of … meditation is not to create a comfortable hiding place for oneself;

it is to acquaint the mind, on a moment -to-moment basis, with impermanence.

Mark Epstein, Advice not given: a Guide to Getting over Yourself