Whether smothered or abandoned, or lost or found, the unfolding of our lives has us uncover or peel away what gets in the way, so we can recover the essential nature of things more deeply. This uncovering of what gets in the way is how we learn. Because we fall down and get up again and again, we’re called to pick ourselves up, dust off our habits, and sustain our authenticity.
There are times we can feel the vastness of life and grasp a larger sense of things. And times we get lost in the details, entangled in problems and old patterns. But when love or suffering return us to the depth of life, the days become precious and familiar and everything feels new. Expanding after being small, the weight we carry lessens and the smallest effort matters again.
In Japanese lore, a pearl of a child was born in poverty and left in an abandoned hut. She managed to survive and until she realized she was all alone, the light she attracted and reflected was enough. But inevitably, she felt the weight of being an orphan. And so her lifelong struggle began. When looking in the world, she always felt rejected and bereft. When looking in herself, she felt received and complete. This is the struggle we all face. No matter what circumstance we’re born into, our trial of individuation is to see through our circumstance and remember the pearl we are.
no matter what is present. no matter what you have or don’t have. no matter who you think you are.
inquiry for today~ as the winter dies off, what tender churnings are coming into view?
The present is not totally shaped by the past. In fact, the most important element shaping your present pleasure or pain is how you fashion, with your intentions in the present, the raw material by the past. You develop the right attitude toward past mistakes so that you can learn from them. You approach the present as an opportunity to respond skillfully to whatever arises. And you face the future with the confidence that you’re developing the full range of skills you need to handle whatever lies in store. ~Thanissaro Bhikkhu