As for me, don’t worry. What I care about the most, and practice off and on throughout the day, is to be aware. That’s all. To be awake. See, I have pieces of paper in my pockets that I carry with me: quotes, inspiring reminders. They refocus my mind on the here and now. That is the most important thing to me. To be present. Awake. Aware. My eleven years in prison were severe, but I used the time to my advantage. I never forget what I am seeing now- the pale green line streaking across the pond, or the shadow of the tree across your leg- disappears the moment I turn my face. This is life’s simplicity. Just the here and now. Aware that nothing is permanent. The barbed-wire fence across the back of Aung San Suu Kyi’s compound over there- why worry about the presence of such an irritant? It’s insignificant. Now if I worry about anything, it’s that I might lose this sense of awareness. So I guard it as something precious. Things pass- that I have seen. Life is what you make it now. So let us put our energies into life. Into understanding our interrelatedness….U Kyi Maung
somehow this comes down to fear, of the fear of being alive….to sit with the seeds of love for a few moments is the water and the light and the dirt…don’t ever forget the dirt….this is the most important part….this woundedness is crucial…..like the light that warms the cold heart…..reflect that awakening back to the world…..
When we come from a dualistic mind, we can conceive of anything, including non-dualism, only dualistically. With experiences such as love and suffering, we gradually come to understand the contemplative gaze in a different way. For our divided mind, however, it’s helpful to remove a few misconceptions. What is non-dual thinking not?- not relativism- not skepticism- not merely saying, ‘There are two sides to everything.’- not fuzzy thinking- not an esoteric Eastern philosophy- not postmodern nihilism. In fact, non-dual thinking or contemplation is a sign that you have found the Absolute, but it is far beyond any words or ideas. Because you have encountered the One, God, or naked Being Itself, which breaks open and is beyond all mental and expected boundaries. Such being has no boundaries that the mind can conceive. For saints, mystics, and budding contemplatives, ‘words have become flesh,’ and experience has gone beyond words. Inside of such broad and deep awareness, paradoxes are easily accepted, and former mental contradictions seem to dissolve. That’s why mystics can forgive and let go and show mercy and love enemies……Richard Rohr
Dry Bones- Insight can’t be found in sutras, commentaries, or Dharma talks. Liberation and awakened understanding can’t be found by devoting ourselves to the study of the scriptures. This is like hoping to find fresh water in dry bones. Returning to the present moment, using our clear mind that exists right here and now, we can be in touch with liberation and enlightenment as living realities right in this moment….Thich Nhat Hanh (In honor of my first dharma talk with this venerable leader in NYC this past weekend….amazing)