Tag Archives: non-attachment

In the Presence of the Monks

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What is the opposite of pretense?
Quiet, calm, radiating confidence,
lovingkindness, sweetness, joy,
contentment.
Being in the presence of the monks
I’m reminded of what safety is,
and simplicity, and humility,
and equality.
Ahh, beauty.
And it’s the inner beauty
that touches me far more deeply
than anything I look upon.
They taught us about impermanence tonight,
sweeping up the gorgeous mandala
and pouring the sand into the river.
What cannot be erased is the joy
felt by so many beloveds
sharing in this vibrant experience
of taking in such beauty
and letting it go completely.

Nothing is Ours

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If I cannot see the beauty
in this moment
then my eyes are not open wide enough.
May I allow my whole self
to open to this moment:
eyes, ears, heart, mind, body, and soul.
May I take it all in,
and give it all away again,
because in this life of impermanence
nothing is ever truly ours.
We live on borrowed time
in bodies that have been rented to us.
Let us honor our agreements,
make good on our contracts,
and when it’s time to move out,
let’s leave the place better than how we found it.

Your Job

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It is hopeless
trying to keep everything as it is–
the nice warm weather
the sunshine
every person in your life
your clean car…
It all changes,
so clinging to one form
will only cause pain
as it withers and fades
and disintegrates
and slips from your grasp.
But this doesn’t mean
that we reject life either,
letting nothing in
so that there is nothing to lose.
No, we can make room for it all.
The joy and the grief
the pain and the pleasure
the sunshine and the rain.
Your job isn’t to create
a perfect cookie cutter life
and then spend all of your time
keeping it perfect–
your job is to breathe deeply
and make space for whatever
happens.

No Fear, Just Possibility

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We are supposed to be different
from one another
so why do we all go about
trying to make everyone the same?
And why do we need others
to think like we do
act like we do
and look like us
in order to feel comfortable with ourselves?
Doesn’t this sound absurd?
And yet, this is what we do.
We fear what we don’t understand–
and our understanding stems
from familiarity.
How about we try something different?
What if we embraced the mystery?
When we can drop our attachment
to what we think we know
and what we think is right
then we can look up into the night sky
and breathe in the infinite space
of the starry world.
Then, no fear–
just possibility.

You’re Not a Cookie

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Once my mom said to me
You’re not a cookie.
You’re not going to come
out of the oven all done.
We had been talking about life,
and how impatient I was to
get there, wherever “there” was.
I read tonight about a spiritual teacher
who shocked the audience saying
You will never get it all together.
I guess that this teacher also realized
that we aren’t cookies.

Fearlessness: The Ultimate Freedom

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Holding on to anything
plants seeds of fear
deep in our consciousness
because on a deep level
we know that everything
we now see
will one day be gone.
Look around you.
None of this is permanent.
Nothing is permanent.
So let go of the grasping,
the naive belief
that you can control
this universe and keep
it the way you like.
There is infinite freedom
in letting go.
Sure, you might say,
I want to let go,
but how?
It isn’t a switch that we flick.
We can’t turn on
this power of letting go.
But we can practice
every day
in little ways.
Sit.
In your mind
visualize the things to which
you are most attached.
Think of the people for whom
you hold the greatest affection.
Acknowledge that one day
we must say goodbye to all of these.
If imagining saying goodbye to a loved one
Strikes terror in your heart,
start small.
Start with your favorite kind
of potato chip,
or your favorite television show.
You don’t actually have to
get rid of them on the concrete level.
Just imagine letting go.
Each letting go
whether real or imagined
contributes to our fearlessness,
the ultimate freedom.