“Let go of the illusion of control.” ~ Master Oogway
To “let go” may be the greatest teaching and perhaps the most challenging. We find security in control, but it is only an illusion. All things in life arise and pass, all things are changing moment to moment. And control, like all things, is fleeting. Holding on to that which by its nature will change, trying to keep it from changing, brings us suffering. We are chained to a self-imagined outcome. We are not free. Life is not free. This can hurt us and those around us. Letting go, staying open, brings some peace to us and those around us.
I have a phrase I sometimes use when meditating. Breathing in I say in my mind, “May I hold all of life in love.” Breathing out I say in my mind, “And in love, may I let go…”
The great teacher Ajahn Chah has said, “If you let go a little, you will have a little happiness. If you let it go a lot, you will have a lot of happiness. If you let go completely, you will be free.”
Letting go should not be confused with inaction or indifference. Especially in a time of activism, as we are in now. We are still called forth by the suffering in the world, from our empathy and compassion, to tend to this life and those in it, to relieve and end suffering where we can. We do the good work, the kind work, but we do so not dependent on the outcome. We do so regardless of praise or blame. This can be really challenging in a culture such as ours, so driven on outcomes and a particular vision of “success.” Can we do good and kind work, simply because it is good and kind? Can we do good and kind work, knowing that we may not see fruition in our day, but we are perhaps planting seeds that may bring benefit in the days ahead?
#TheLongArc #LetGo #BeFree #PlantingSeeds #NoControl #Flow #peace #empathy #compassion #suffering #enso #Zen #Buddhism #JMWart
“Be a lamp, a lifeboat, a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.”
“We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way.”
~St. Francis of Assisi
#bodhisattva #healing #service #kindness #compassion #wisdom #TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #OpenHeart #LoveWins
we sit, we practice. we practice with our breath, with our thoughts, with all that is in our hearts. allowing all of it to rise and fall, to arrive and pass away. in doing so, we open our hearts, we develop compassion for our own self and our own situation.but what good would it do, to end the journey there? compassion, once developed, naturally extends if we remain open.
the cushion is a great place to start, but not to stay.
go out into the world and offer your compassion through your words and actions.
in case you are wondering, now is the time to engage this life, to stand up and speak out for justice, equality and peace.we do so with empathy, compassion and courage. we do so with open hearts and steady minds rooted in meditation and contemplative practice.
we are interdependent and each of us has a role to play, a job to do, working to retain sanity and peace and to heal suffering for the benefit of all people.
#Bodhisattvas #MeditateAndResist #TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #TheMettaGarden
[photo credit: Hu Yuanjia]
i keep these photographs in my phone to look at every once in a while.
briefly, the story around them, goes as so: the photographer heard someone yelling and then people gathering around an elderly man sitting on a bench in a train station. he had apparently fallen asleep and then passed away. out of the crowd, a Buddhist monk walked over and began chants and prayers over the deceased man, holding his hand. after completing the ritual, the monk bowed to the deceased man and then disappeared into the crowd.
i find this story and these images so moving. there’s so much beauty in seeing such empathy and compassion in action. the monk, treating the deceased man with an incredible depth of dignity and compassion.
keep images and stories like this close to your hearts during this time, friends. where we don’t see it, we can be it.
we are currently seeing a grave lacking of empathy, of treating others with dignity, of compassion from the highest offices. it is worrisome. however, these values, these ways of being still exist, and where they exist there is hope.