Friday, August 31, 2007

...that is why they call it "practice"

I am one of those people who have a meditation/ spirituality quote routed to my email Inbox every day. But there is something gently ironic about my sense that recently, they are piling up on me. There are too many of them. They are making me feel badly. I can't seem to hang onto them, much less profit by their wisdom.

This morning as I worried about which ones to delete, and which ones to file, and which ones to save (and if so, save where?!), it occurred to me that I was acting/ feeling/ behaving in just the sorts of ways they warn us about. After all, one of the central beliefs/ goals is about not hanging onto things. Including pithy, uplifting, prayerful messages?!

I now feel myself taking a deep breath. Now I feel the air on my nostrils as I slowly release it.

Enlightenment--that magnificent escape from anguish and ignorance--never happens by accident. It results from the brave and sometimes lonely battle of one person against his own weaknesses.

-Bhikkhu Nyanasobhano, "Landscapes of Wonder"

Whatever attitudes we habitually use toward ourselves, we will use on others, and whatever attitudes we habitually use toward others, we will use on ourselves. The situation is comparable to our serving food to ourselves and to other people from the same bowl. Everyone ends up eating the same thing--we must examine carefully what we are dishing out.

-Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, "Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness"

I like to walk alone on country paths, rice plants and wild grasses on both sides, putting each foot down on the earth in mindfulness, knowing that I walk on the wondrous earth. In such moments, existence is a miraculous and mysterious reality.

People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child--our own two eyes. All is a miracle.

-Thich Nhat Hanh, "Miracle of Mindfulness"

...I promise not to burn out...

so that I can continue to be of help to myself and others in working for the healing of the world. I will take care of myself, nurture myself with good friends, good food, and enough rest, and try to touch the sources of compassion, loving kindness, sympathetic joy, and equanimity in each moment of every day.

Mushim Ikeda

1 comment:

Gloria said...

Drag and drop those lovely tidbits of wisdom into your "personal" folder. Then when you think you need sage advice, because yours has left for the day, you can double click for wisdom.