The Buddha told us to see the way things are and then let go of our clinging to them. Take this feeling of letting go as your refuge.
Only dwelling in the present can make us free. We have to look into our suffering, our craving. And when we see its face we will smile: you cannot make me your prisoner any more.
—Thich Nhat Hanh
“Don’t prolong the past, Don’t invite the future, Don’t alter your innate wakefulness, Don’t fear appearances. There is nothing more than that!
Meditation is a process of lightening up, of trusting the basic goodness of what we have and who we are, and of realizing that any wisdom that exists, exists in what we already have. We can lead our life so as to become more awake to who we are and what we’re doing rather than trying to improve or change or get rid of who we are or what we’re doing. The key is to wake up, to become more alert, more inquisitive and curious about ourselves.
The everyday practice is simply to develop a complete acceptance and openness to all situations and emotions and to all people, experiencing everything totally without mental reservations and blockages, so that one never withdraws or centralizes onto oneself.
—Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
As long as we remain within the confines of the thinking mind, we can’t experience the state of non-thinking. If we can’t experience non-thinking, we will not understand what our life truly is. Please realize this for yourself. Just sit!
—Taizan Maezumi Roshi
Don’t move. Just die over and over. Don’t anticipate. Nothing can save you now because you have only this moment. Not even enlightenment will help you now because there are no other moments. With no future be true to yourself and express yourself fully. Don’t move.
When we face a situation in which we feel indignation, if we mindfully investigate our own mind, we will discover bitter truths about ourselves: that we are selfish; we are egocentric; we are attached to our ego; we hold on to our opinions; we think we are right and everybody else is wrong; we are prejudiced; and at the bottom of all this, we do not really love ourselves. This discovery, though bitter, is a most rewarding experience. And in the long run, this discovery delivers us from deeply rooted psychological and spiritual suffering.
—Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
It’s no small thing to be born human. A lot of “stuff” comes along with the opportunity of human life. Zazen is an incredible doorway for getting to the bottom of it all, and learning to live your life out of what you directly experience yourself: not what somebody tells you, not what you read, not because you should, but because your own direct experience of yourself and your life tells you what to do.
—John Daido Loori
Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken. Take heed, do not squander your life.