September 6    

Today's quotation:

Consider the trees which allow the birds to perch and fly away without either inviting them to stay or desiring them never to depart.  If your heart can be like this, you will be near to the way.


Today's Meditation:

How much less stressful would life be if we were to let things be as they are, without trying all the time to influence them?  If we weren't to try to make them what we want them to be?  Let the birds fly away when they want to, and you can enjoy their company fully right here, right now.  Allow the birds to do as they please, not as you wish, and you spare yourself the extra stress that comes when we try to make others do our bidding or fulfill our wishes.

In our society, we're taught not just to hang on to things, but to fear losing them.  We so often try to influence things that we really shouldn't try to influence.  When we try to talk someone into doing something that we want them to do, there's suddenly more stress in both their lives and in ours.  When a friend comes into our lives, we have to keep in mind that the time probably will come when that friend or another will leave, too, and we have to be okay with that if we're to allow life to be life and other people to be themselves.

What "way" is this person talking about?  The way of life, the way of existing in this world as a truly unique individual who respects life and all that it has to give us-- and all that life needs to take away when the time is right.  We can save ourselves plenty of agony and heartache by simply realizing that to everything there is a season, and seasons must come to an end to make way for the next season.

Life is what life is, and it's a much lighter load to experience it for all its joy and trials than it is to try to control life and try to make it into what we think it should be.  After all, life knows what is best for it and for us, and we know very little when all is said and done.  Living the way, allowing life to be what it is without trying to unduly influence it, may be one of the true paths to enlightenment, that state in which we feel at peace and which so many of us long to reach.

Questions to consider:

Why do so many of us try to control other people and situations?

Can you be like a tree that lets the birds fly away when they feel that it's time for them to do so?

What does enlightenment mean to you?  Do you feel enlightened?

For further thought:

Before enlightenment, I chopped wood and carried water.
After enlightenment, I chopped wood and carried water.

more zen sayings



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