On Death…

When ordinary people die they are out of control. Because they have not trained themselves during their life, they are overwhelmed by the experience of death and bewildered as their bodily elements go out of balance and cease to function harmoniously.

~ Lama Thubten Yeshe

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This quote inspired such an amazing moment of awareness and compassion in me.  On a lot of levels, I already knew what the Venerable Lama Yeshe said, but it was good to read and think on this separately.   (Especially as, one of these days, as soon as I can, I want to get involved in hopsice work.  It’s a place I genuinely feel I could help.  And it sort of “runs in the family.”)

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Quotes

Love is the capacity to take care, to protect, to nourish. If you are not capable of generating that kind of energy toward yourself – if you are not capable of taking care of yourself, of nourishing yourself, of protecting yourself – it is very difficult to take care of another person.

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh

All my life I have tended to gravitate towards the hardest, most difficult road I can take. I’ve been that way since I was little. When I was 5 or 6, it was decided that I was too forceful a person – too full of myself is how I once had it explained to me by my parents. So in the first grade (I started school a bit young), a concerted effort was undertaken by my parents and teacher to “take me down a peg.” That was a hard year for me. I love my parents and know that they did not mean me real harm, but their efforts with my teacher that year were very successful. I have long since struggled with issued of self-worth and self-confidence. This is part of my Origin.

So I do what I do, and I am what I am. I sit, I practice. I try to practice mindfulness. I dissect, dissolve and attempt to release what I grasp after.

The great practitioners of nonviolence have never turned their heads or shrunk away from their own or others’ suffering. Knowing the downfalls of aggression, they have been able to respond with wisdom and broad-mindedness. This type of wisdom and courage grows from our commitment to understanding our own mind and reactions and the causes and results of our actions. We develop the ability to accurately read and respond to the world around us without rejecting it. This is the practice of nonviolence. Of course this takes some maturity. We really need to cultivate this kind of maturity.

Staying Present

I found a quote I really liked in the book I’m reading right now:

“…we often still find ourselves disengaged from our own clarity, moving along without thinking….”

That’s exactly it – I really can grok this – for me it’s like residing a half-step away from being present.

Perhaps with a “deeper breath” and a more mindful effort I can “let go” and ease down into this clarity more often.

Thây says …

“Enlightenment is growing all the time.”