Category: Mindfulness

Perfect Day

Sunflower-2019
Sunflower-2019

I read a review for a windscreen a while back in Motorcyclist magazine that said it’s always too hot, too windy, too cold or raining. But after 90,000 miles on my bike I found that there are some days that are as close to perfect as I could ask for.

Today was not a perfect day to photograph a half inch sunflower bud. It was too hot, too windy and it was only a matter of time until it rained. But over the course of almost an hour I managed to get a shot I was happy with, though far from perfect.

Ultimately every day is perfect because it’s the only one we have. But saying that and living it are very different things. There is a popular saying that if we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly our whole life would change. I’m going to keep looking.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Flower of Any Kind

The Strawberry Tragedy

Fresh Strawberries
Fresh Strawberries

Charlotte Joko Beck in Everyday Zen explains a famous Buddhist parable: “A man was being chased by a tiger. In his desperation he dove over the side of a cliff and grabbed a vine. As the tiger was pawing away above him he looked below and saw another tiger at the base of the cliff, waiting for him to fall.

To top it off two mice were gnawing away at the vine. At that moment he spotted a luscious strawberry and, holding the vine with one hand, he picked the strawberry and ate it. It was delicious! What finally happened to the man? We know, of course. Is what happened to him a tragedy?

Notice that the man being chased by a tiger didn’t lie down and say, Oh, you beautiful creature. We are one. Please eat me. The story is not about being foolish even though on one level, the man and the tiger are one. The man did his best to protect himself, as we all should.

Nevertheless, if we’re left hanging on that vine, we can either waste that last moment of life or we can appreciate it. And isn’t every moment the last moment? There is no moment other than this. The man being chased by the tiger is finally eaten. No problem.”

Monkey Mind

Monkey Mind
Monkey Mind

The Buddha said that we all have monkey minds, with dozens of monkeys all clamoring for attention. Fear and anxiety are very loud monkeys, pointing out all the things we should be wary of and everything that could go wrong.

Daniel B. Smith, author of the book Monkey Mind writes: “Admit the anxiety as an essential part of yourself and in exchange that anxiety will be converted into energy, unstable but manageable. Stop with the self-flagellating and become yourself, with scars and tics.”

In other words, everybody’s got something to hide, except for me and my monkeys.

The Color Purple

The Color Purple
The Color Purple

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it. People think pleasing God is all God cares about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.” Alice Walker, The Color Purple

Stillness Speaks

Stillness Speaks
Stillness Speaks

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!”