“We may lose our best piece of pottery in the firing, the charter school we work so hard to create may fold, our start up business may go under, our children may develop problems beyond our control. If we only focus on the results, we will be devastated. But if we know the cup is broken, we can give our best to the process, create what we can and trust the larger process of life itself. We can plan, we can care for, tend and respond. But we cannot control. Instead we take a breath, and open to what is unfolding, where we are. This is a profound shift, from holding on, to letting go. As Suzuki Roshi says, “When we understand the truth of impermanence and find our composure in it, there we find ourselves in Nirvana.” Jack Kornfield
“Take a look at your life and see what is holding you back. What are you attached to? What do you think is important in this world? You cannot have both. You cannot mentally be attached to person, place and thing, and awaken at the same time. If you want liberation, you have to pay the price. And the price is letting go, giving it all up, surrendering. Having perfect faith that All is Well. Not trying to interpret what ‘All is Well’ means. Just realize that everything is in its right place, just the way it is. Don’t interpret it. There are no mistakes.” Robert Adams
‘Letting go of the fixed self isn’t something we can just wish to happen. It’s something we predispose ourselves to with every gesture, every word, every deed, every thought. We’re either going in the direction of letting go and strengthening that ability or going in the direction of holding on and reinforcing that fear based habit. We can choose reality – stay with it, be here, show up, be open, turn toward the sights and the sounds and the thoughts that pass through our minds – or we can choose to turn away. But if we turn away, we can pretty much count on staying stuck in the same old pattern of suffering, never getting closer to experiencing wakefulness, never getting closer to experiencing the sacredness of existence.’ Pema Chödrön
“We will meet many difficult moments in our lives – people will abuse us or take us for granted, people we love will leave us; our expectations of others and ourselves will be disappointed, and there will be times when we are misunderstood or judged unfairly. The difficult encounters and moments in our lives spiral into complexity when aversion and fear are layered upon them. With aversion come innumerable ideas about how we think the world, other people, and ourselves should be, together with our strategies for turning those ideas into reality. With fear is born in our imagination what might befall us, the endless possibilities of misfortune, and our desire to flee from difficulties. Oscar Wilde once said, “The most terrible things in my life never actually happened.” In case they do, we want to be well rehearsed.
There is a simpler way of being with the difficult and painful in this life; to listen closely; to stay present, to investigate, and question – “Here is suffering. There are causes that can be understood without blame. What is the path to the end of suffering in this moment?” The path may involve intervention, the courage to say “no,” wise action; it may involve forgiveness, tolerance, or patience. Whether our response to suffering is an inner or an outer one, compassion roots itself in the dedication to ending sorrow. Our capacity to make peace with the difficult is hindered and made complex through the added ingredients of aversion, fear, and avoidance. These are the layers of complexity that we can learn to understand and release.” Christina Feldman
“We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time.
When we hesitate in being direct, we unknowingly slip something on, some added layer of protection that keeps us from feeling the world, and often that thin covering is the beginning of a loneliness which, if not put down, diminishes our chances of joy.
It’s like wearing gloves every time we touch something, and then, forgetting we chose to put them on, we complain that nothing feels quite real. Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world but to unglove ourselves so that the doorknob feels cold and the car handle feels wet and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being, soft and unrepeatable. ” Mark Nepo
“I forgive the tears I was made to shed, I forgive the pain and the disappointments, I forgive the betrayals and the lies, I forgive the slanders and intrigues, I forgive the hatred and the persecution, I forgive the blows that hurt me, I forgive the wrecked dreams, I forgive the stillborn hopes, I forgive the hostility and jealousy, I forgive the indifference and ill will, I forgive the injustice carried out in the name of justice, I forgive the anger and the cruelty, I forgive the neglect and the contempt, I forgive the world and all its evils… I also forgive myself. May the misfortunes of the past no longer weigh on my heart. Instead of pain and resentment, I choose understanding and compassion. Instead of rebellion, I choose the music from my violin. Instead of grief, I choose forgetting. Instead of vengeance, I choose victory. I will be capable of loving, regardless of whether I am loved in return, of giving, even when I have nothing, of working happily, even in the midst of difficulties, of holding out my hand, even when utterly alone and abandoned, of drying my tears, even while I weep, of believing, even when no one believes in me… So it is. So it will be.” Paulo Coelho