Whatever assumptions you have about yourself, no matter how reasonable they might be, they are still a creation in the present. By believing in them, by thinking and holding to them, you’re continually creating yourself as a personality.
Awakeness is not a creation.
It’s the immanent act of attention in the present.
Ajahn Sumedho, The Problem with Personality
The sun goes ’round, the moon goes ’round, the tides and seasons go ’round, people are born and die, and when are we finished?
If we refuse rest until we are finished, we will never rest until we die.
Sabbath dissolves the artificial urgency of our days, because it liberates us from the need to be finished.
Wayne Muller. Sabbath, Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest
It is good to tune into the energy of each season and live in harmony with it. In autumn we move from the expansive nature of summer to a more internal, introspective focus, setting limits, conserving and harvesting. A good time to let go of the unrealistic demands we place on ourselves.
There is a Japanese saying: The elbow does not bend outward.
It is a smart saying. The freedom of the elbow, the wonderfulness of the elbow, is precisely because of its limitations. This is our awakened attitude. We are free to be completely human. We are not free to be aliens or cartoon creatures.
We are free to be ourselves, with all of our imperfections and bruises.
Jason Shulman, The Instruction Manual for Receiving God
A lot of our weekday work is centered on our achievements and that can become the narrow focus of our lives. But it is the heart that gives life and what nourishes us in the deepest sense. So our busy lives need to be interrupted by times when we revisit the heart and simply walk in wider fields.
to your sleeping heart.
Take it out
into the vast fields
And let it
A long weekend in Ireland. Time to switch off and nourish our deeper selves:
Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.…
Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Live a three-dimensional life;
stay away from screens.
Wendell Berry, How to Be a poet
With mindfulness practice, you learn to see how the untrained mind is agitated by the human condition and how not to allow this general anxiety to fuel your fear in a specific situation. You also gain tolerance for the unpleasantness of uncertainty and also the naturalness of your own imperfection. You have confidence that “life is like this.” You cannot and are not supposed to miraculously fix it; rather, you gain the insight that happiness and peace come from relating to life just as it is.
Philipp Moffit, Freedom from Fear