“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” William G.T. Shedd
The pessimist who has to bail out the boat calls it half full; the optimist who owns it calls it half empty.
The pessimist who goes to the lake at 4am curses the clouds for blocking the sunrise; the optimist takes a photo of the boat and calls it Wabi-sabi.
Eckhart Tolle: “All artists, whether they know it or not create from a place of inner stillness, a place of no mind.”
Me: “I have so many things on my mind right now its hard to even think!”
ET: “When you lose touch with inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself.”
Me: “It’s too much trouble to set up my tripod so I’ll try to hold myself still.”
ET: “True intelligence operates silently. Stillness is where creativity and solutions to problems are found.”
Me: “I wish that damn bulldozer would finish up so I can concentrate.”
ET: “Surrender comes when you no longer ask, “Why is this happening to me?”
Me: “These mayflies are driving me crazy, why is this happening to me?”
ET: “Whenever you are immersed in compulsive thinking, you are avoiding what is. You don’t want to be where you are. Here, Now.”
Me: “I should have gone to the Shoe House instead of here in Wrightsville, I’d love a shoe brownie right now.”
ET: “Become at ease with the state of not knowing.”
Me: “I have no idea if this will look good in black and white, I just don’t know.”
ET: “Whenever you deeply accept this moment as it is-no matter what form it takes-you are still, you are at peace.”
Me: “Man its hot out here-it must be ninety degrees already and as humid as a rainforest.”
ET: “Suffering is necessary until you realize it is unnecessary.”
Me: “Put a fork in me I’m done, I’m gonna go home, crank up the AC and watch cartoons like a normal unemployed 58 year old man.
ET: “Here is a new spiritual practice for you: don’t take your thoughts too seriously.”
Me: “I think I have a few Rick and Mortys on the DVR, that should get my mind right, I hope so, I’m so confused!”
“There’s something beautiful about keeping certain aspects of your life hidden. Maybe people and clouds are beautiful because you can’t see everything.” Kamenashi Kazuya
In The Art of Happiness the Dalai Lama said: “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” In other words, take the dog for a ride.
Shunryu Suzuki, author of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind said: “Life is like stepping onto a boat that is about to sail out to sea and sink.”
He also said: “The person who can freely acknowledge that life is full of difficulties can be free, because they are acknowledging the nature of life – that it can’t be much else.”
Note to self: get a new life preserver.
In this classic parable, Chuang Tzu writes about the empty boat: “You’re on the mountain lake, almost dozing, when suddenly a boat crashes into your hull; you’re angry, you shout, But then you see, the boat is empty.”
So my first question is, am I in a $20 an hour rental boat like the ones at Muddy Run, or am I in a fully restored 1956 Chris Craft worth 1000 times that? But wait, there’s more…
In Start Where You Are, Pema Chodron writes about the same boat: “This is the classic story of our whole life situation. There are a lot of empty boats out there that we’re always screaming at and shaking our fists at.”
Shree Rajneesh, also known as Osho writes: “Such is the perfect man – his boat is empty; there is nobody inside. If you meet a Chuang Tzu, or a Lao Tzu, or me, the boat is there, but it is empty; nobody is in it.”
So here are three perspectives on the empty boat metaphor, take from it what you can. And don’t be too quick to delete your photos just because they aren’t perfect, sometimes there’s a story there, even if it’s just and empty boat. And apparently, it’s always an empty boat.
Immanuel Kant, in The Critique of Pure Reason said; “Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind.”
In other words, it’s all balls in a boat.