September 3


Today's quotation:

I do not want to change.  I want the same old and loved things, the same trees and soft ashgreen; the turtle-doves, the blackbirds, the coloured yellow-hammer sing, sing, singing so long as there is a light to cast a shadow on the dial, for such is the measure of his song, and I want them in the same place.

Richard Jeffries

Today's Meditation:

I'm often torn between the desire to have pleasant things stay as they are and finding new things in my life that may be even more pleasant, or pleasant in different ways.  In some ways, Richard's words bring to mind someone who is intolerant of change, but in other ways I see someone who is quite content with things just as they are and who is willing to let life be life, for life is good to him.

Much of Zen philosophy is based on the concept of accepting things as they are rather than trying to exert our will on anything to try to get it to change into what we think it should be.  And when we accept things the way they are, their beauty and their uniqueness are clear to us, and we don't feel a need to change them for our sake.

When I think of a walk through the woods, I know that all of the sights and sounds that I experience belong right there, right where they are.  Though there seems to be no order or rhyme or reason to the way the forest is set up, it's still perfect just the way it is.  The trees wouldn't be better off in straight rows and columns, and the wildflowers wouldn't be any more beautiful if they were in a garden.

Letting life be is a unique skill that we all can learn.  When we can give up trying to see how things can be better and accept them just as they are, just where they are, we make ourselves much happier and we make those who are with us much happier, too. 

Questions to consider:

Which is easier-- to let things be, or to try to make them into what we think they should be?  Which do we tend to learn to do as we grow up?

How can we learn ways to accept and appreciate things as they are?

When was the last time you accepted something just as it was, even though you didn't much like it that way?

For further thought:

Happy are they who learn to bear what they cannot change.

J.C.F. von Schiller

more thoughts and ideas on acceptance



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