When anyone asks me how I got involved in Buddhism, I always say it was because I was so angry with my husband. The truth is that he saved my life. When that marriage fell apart, I tried hard—very, very hard—to go back to some kind of comfort, some kind of security, some kind of… Continue reading When anyone ask…
Back stateside, I am finishing an epic round of (late-summer) spring cleaning. Though it’s a large task, it’s also wonderfully refreshing to purge my life of things I don’t use or need. I love filling plastic bags with piles of old papers, well-worn cardigans and nearly empty bottles of shampoo. I clap my hands together…… Continue reading Late-summer Spring Cleaning
Why do we have to spend our lives striving to be something that we would never want to be, if we only knew what we wanted? Why do we waste our time doing things which, if we only stopped to think about them, are just the opposite of what we were made for?
We cannot be ourselves unless we know ourselves. But self-knowledge is impossible when thoughtless and automatic activity keeps our souls in confusion. In order to know ourselves, it is not necessary to cease all activity in order to think about ourselves. That would be useless, and would probably do most of us a great deal of harm. But we have to cut down our activity to the point where we can think calmly and reasonably about our actions. We cannot begin to know ourselves until we can see the real reasons why we do the things we do, and we cannot be ourselves until out actions correspond to our intentions, and our intentions are appropriate to our own situation. But that is enough. It is not necessary that we succeed in everything. A man can be perfect and still reap no fruit from his work, and it may happen that a man who is able to accomplish very little is much more of a person than another who seems to accomplish very much.
Thomas Merton, No Man is an Island
“We become so accustomed to life on the hamster wheel of achievement and approval that we just forget. We scamper on and on chasing the ephemeral promises of ‘Someday I’ll…’ or ‘If only…’ This is the way we’ve been conditioned. College looks forward to medical school, medical school to residency, residency to whatever lies beyond.…… Continue reading Words to live by