“Don’t chew your worries, your fear, or your anger. If you chew your planning and your anxiety, it’s difficult to feel grateful for each piece of food. Just chew your food.” Thich Nhat Hanh, How to Eat
“Learn to see the big picture. Often times we get tunnel vision and lose sight of the big picture and what we’re really trying to accomplish.” Robert Cheeke
“If you can not find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?” Dogen
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.
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.”
“Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates: At the first gate ask yourself, Is is true? At the second gate ask, Is it necessary? At the third gate ask, Is it kind?” Rumi
“Watch the clouds. They will teach you about the world of form.” Eckhart Tolle
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.
“Know the white, yet keep to the black; be a pattern for the world. If you are a pattern for the world, the Tao will be strong inside you and there will be nothing you can’t do.” Lao Tzu