every individual can make himself happy


 

We are born

under circumstances that

would be favourable if we did not

abandon them. It was nature’s intention

that there should be no need of great equipment

for a good life: every individual can make himself happy.

External goods are of trivial importance and without much influence

in either direction: prosperity does not elevate the sage and

adversity does not depress him. For he has always made

the effort to rely as much as possible on himself

and to derive all delight from

himself.

 

Seneca

 

mind and heart at ease


 

As you

continue to practise,

please understand: there is

nothing to worry about. Establish

this feeling of being relaxed and unworried,

securely, in the mind. Once the mind is concentrated

and one-pointed, no mind-object will be able to penetrate

or disturb it, and you will be able to sit in the meditation

posture for as long as you want. You will also

be able to sustain concentration without

any feelings of pain and

discomfort.

 

Having

developed samadhi

to this level, you will be able

to enter or leave it at will. When you

leave it, it will be at your convenience.

You simply withdraw at your ease, rather

than because you are feeling lazy or tired.

You withdraw from samadhi because

it is the appropriate time to

withdraw from it, and you

come out of it at

your will.

 

You enter

and leave this samadhi

without any problems. The mind

and heart are at ease. If you genuinely have

samadhi like this, it means that sitting meditation

and entering samadhi for just thirty minutes or an hour

will enable you to remain cool and peaceful for many days

afterwards. Experiencing the effects of samadhi like this

for several days has a purifying effect on the mind.

Whatever you experience will become an object

for contemplation. This is where

the practice really begins. It is

the  fruit which arises as

samadhi matures.

 

Ajahn Chah

 

the lovely arc of a meteor in the night sky

 

At the party there were those sage souls

who swam along the bottom like those huge white

fish who live for hundreds of years but have no

fun. They are nearly blind and need the cold.

William was a stingray guarding his cave. Only

those prepared for mortal battle came close to

him. Closer to the surface the smaller fish

played, swimming in mixed patterns only a god

could decipher. They gossiped and fed and sparred

and consumed, and some no doubt even spawned.

It’s a life filled with agitation, thrills,

melodrama and twittery, but too soon it’s over.

And nothing’s revealed because it was never known.

 

James Tate

 

empty-handed

 

This

reminds me of

another statement Dogen Zenji

made when he returned from China,

‘I have returned empty-handed, without the

smallest bit of Buddha Dharma.’ ‘Empty-handed.’

When you’ve got nothing in your hands, they are free

to be used in the best way. And, ‘without the smallest

bit of Buddha Dharma.’ In other words, everything

is the Buddha Dharma. It’s not a matter of

having it or not. This very life, as it is,

is nothing but the Buddha

Dharma itself.

 

Taizan Maezumi Roshi