Many of our escapes are involuntary: addiction and dissociating from painful feelings are two examples. Anyone who has worked with a strong addiction—compulsive eating, compulsive sex, abuse of substances, explosive anger, or any other behavior that’s out of control—knows that when the urge comes on it’s irresistible. The seduction is too strong. So we train again and again in less highly charged situations in which the urge is present but not so overwhelming. By training with everyday irritations, we develop the knack of refraining when the going gets rough. It takes patience and an understanding of how we’re hurting ourselves not to continue taking the same old escape route of speaking or acting out.
– Pema Chödron
from the book “Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change”
A story is told about Ananda, the Buddha’s personal attendant, who had the desire to engage in a long period of fasting. He began to grow feeble and weak; he couldn’t sit and meditate, so finally the Buddha told him, “Ananda, if there is no food, there is no body. If there is no body, there is no dharma. If there is no dharma, there is no enlightenment. Therefore go back and eat.” That is the basic logic of the Buddhist teachings and of Buddhist psychology. We can actually be decent and sane on the spot, not through extreme measures but by managing our life properly, and thereby cultivating maitri, gentleness and friendliness to yourself.
– Chögyam Trungpa
from the book “The Sanity We Are Born With: A Buddhist Approach to Psychology”
To understand how delusion arises, practice watching your mind. Begin by simply letting it relax. Without thinking of the past or the future, without feeling hope or fear about this thing or that, let it rest comfortably, open and natural. In this space of the mind, there is no problem, no suffering. Then something catches your attention – an image, a sound, a smell. Your mind splits into inner and outer, self and other, subject and object. In simply perceiving the object, there is still no problem. But when you zero in on it, you notice that it’s big or small, white or black, square or circular; and then you make a judgment – for example, whether it’s pretty or ugly. Having made that judgment, you react to it: you decide you like it or don’t like it. That’s when the problem starts, because “I like it” leads to “I want it.” We want to possess what we perceive to be desirable. Similarly, “I don’t like it” leads to “I don’t want it.” If we like something, want it, and can’t have it, we suffer. If we don’t want it, but can’t keep it away, again we suffer. Our suffering seems to occur because of the object of our desire or aversion, but that’s not really so – it happens because the mind splits into object-subject duality and becomes involved in wanting or not wanting something.
– Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche
from the book “Gates to Buddhist Practice: Essential Teachings of a Tibetan Master”
Autumn is spirited and refreshing as this mountain ages.
A donkey observes the sky in the well, white moon floating.
One is not dependent;
One does not contain.
Letting go, vigorous with plenty of gruel and rice,
Flapping with vitality, right from head to tail,
Above and below the heavens, clouds and water are free.
– Dogen Zenji
from the book “Dogen’s Extensive Record: A Translation of the Eihei Koroku”
ISBN: 978-0861716708 – https://amzn.to/1izZiWz
translated by Taigen Dan Leighton & Shohaku Okumura
The only way is to enjoy your life. Even though you are practicing zazen, counting your breath like a snail, you can enjoy your life, maybe much better than making a trip to the moon. That is why we practice zazen. The kind of life you have is not so important. The most important thing is to be able to enjoy your life without being fooled by things.– Shunryu Suzuki