The monks of Zen Mountain Monastery conclude each day by chanting these words:
Let me respectfully remind you―Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by, and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken… awaken. Take heed. Do not squander your life.
This morning, I picked up a pen and listed a few of the things that phrase means to me:
- Staying in love with this world and all its miserable imperfections
- Not getting lost in the trance of doing, doing, doing until the day I die
- Being myself, my whole self, and letting go of any need to justify my existence
- Surrendering my own agenda so I can be used for a greater purpose—even if I don’t have a clue what that purpose is
- Being unafraid of challenges and difficulties, or at least not stopped dead in my tracks by fear
- Having as much appreciation for birdsong in midsummer as I did in April when the birds first started singing
- Feeling gratitude for every opportunity that comes my way and letting that gratitude hold my heart open
- Remembering, when the fog of depression closes in, that divinity is real and my mood isn’t who or what I am
- Letting love strip me of illusions and make me anew in its own image
- Being willing to start over as many times as necessary.
If I do squander a few hours here and there stewing in my conditioned patterns of self-judgment and second-guessing, I can respectfully remind myself that it’s always a new day, with a thousand opportunities to awaken and start over. Is there anything more hopeful than that? I suspect that this list will change over time. If it changes, then I must be awake, and if I’m awake, then I can’t be squandering my life.…..Danna Faulds
there is no better way than to live in the divine light than to shine our brightest, to live toward the sun, to aspire toward our highest self……this potential is not about being perfect or self-effacing or living an ideal….it is living real and true and complete and full……our deep roots rooted and our hearts wide open……
Run away is what most human beings would like to do a great deal of the time. It is the flight part of the fight or flight deeply in our bodies and our past, it is our protection, an evolutionary momentum and a biological memory deep in the human body that allowed our ancestors to survive to another day and bequeath to us, generations later, this day.
To want to run away is an essence of being human, it transforms any staying through the transfigurations of choice. To think about fleeing from circumstances, from a marriage, a relationship; from a work is part of the conversation itself and helps us understand the true distilled nature of our own reluctance. We are perhaps most fully incarnated as humans strangely, when part of us does not want to be here, or does not know how to be here. Presence is only fully understood and realized through fully understanding our reluctance to show up.
To make a friend of the part of us that wants nothing to do with the difficulties of work, of relationship, of doing what is necessary, is to learn humility; to cultivate self-compassion and to sharpen a necessary sense of humor and a merciful approach to both self and other.
We decide not to run not only because there are many who would be left behind who cannot run as fast as we can, but also because in turning to the source of the fear we have the possibility of finding a different way forward, a larger good, through circumstances, rather than away from them, in some supposedly safe area where threats no longer occur. We know intuitively that most of the time, we should not run, we should stay and look for a different way forward, but we are wiser, more present, more mature, and more understanding when we realize we can never flee from the need to run away……David Whyte
The cure for boredom is curiosity.
There is no cure for curiosity.