Sometimes ideas can help us play around with how we hold experience…

The Courage To Wait

When you’re like a keg of dynamite about to go off, patience means just slowing down at that point -- just pausing -- instead of immediately acting on your usual, habitual response. You refrain from acting, you stop talking to yourself, and then you connect with the soft spot. But at the same time you are completely and totally honest with yourself about what you are feeling. You’re not suppressing anything; patience has nothing to do with suppression. In fact, it has everything to do with a gentle, honest relationship with yourself.

-- Pema Chödrön

When we refuse to acknowledge the presence of unwanted feelings, we are as bound to them as when we give ourselves over to them indignantly and self-righteously.

-- Mark Epstein, MD

"Now sometimes people confuse happiness with pleasure. For example, not long ago I was speaking to an Indian audience at Rajpur. I mentioned that the purpose of life was happiness, so one member of the audience said that Rajneeesh teaches that our happiest moment comes during sexual activity, so through sex one can become the happiest." The Dalai Lama laughed heartily. "He wanted to know what I thought of that idea. I answered that from my point of view, the highest happiness is when one reaches the stage of Liberation, at which there is no more suffering. That’s genuine, lasting happiness. True happiness relates more to the mind and heart. Happiness that depends mainly on physical pleasure is unstable, one day it’s there, the next day it may not be."

-- from The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living, by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, M.D.

"Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Hope, in this deep powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or a willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good."

-- Vaclav Havel

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
And invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

-- Rumi

"Then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

-- Anais Nin

"You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather."

-- Pema Chödrön