We may not be able to shield ourselves or our children from every harm, but we do have the power to change our careless words into caring ones, to transform our fear into fierce love, and trade our worry for wisdom.
Why is it essential to be kind to ourselves? It’s astonishing that this question would even come up, but it’s more astonishing how many of us don’t think we deserve kindness — a tragic tribute to demeaning childhood programming and trauma.
This never would have been allowed at the center or in any formal meditation hall I have ever visited, but in my own home it was a no-brainer. Bring the coffee to the cushion — or was it bring the cushion to the coffee?
In a Zen story from perhaps the 7th Century in China, the disciple asks his teacher, “How do I attain liberation?” His teacher replies, “Who is binding you?”
“What are we doing here?” I’ve often wondered. How will I ever get somewhere? Getting somewhere has quite an allure to it.
One day Suzuki Roshi said, “Life is basically impossible.” Then he got up and left the zendo. The next day a student asked, “Suzuki Roshi, yesterday you said that life is basically impossible. What are we going to do?”
“You do it,” he replied, “every day.”