Monday, 19 April 2010

Inconvenience or Opportunity?

Spiritual practitioners thrive in unpredictable conditions, testing and refining the inner qualities of heart and mind. Every situation becomes an opportunity to abandon judgement and opinions and to simply give complete attention to what is. Situations of inconvenience are terrific areas to discover, test, or develop your equanimity. How gracefully can you compromise in a negotiation? Does your mind remain balanced when you have to drive around the block three times to find a parking space? Are you at ease waiting for a flight that is six hours delayed? These inconveniences are opportunities to develop equanimity. Rather than shift the blame onto an institution, system, or person, one can develop the capacity to opt to rest within the experience of inconvenience.

- Shaila Catherine, "
Equanimity in Every Bite" (Fall 2008)

Received as
Daily Dharma from on the 19th of April 2010


This is the timely reminder I got today - the day I found out that my flight (tomorrow) to Taiwan for my wedding has been cancelled due to the ash from the
Iceland volcanic eruption. Practice is never anywhere other than right here and now - in the thick of this stress, worry and anxiety!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

To Be An Atheist Is To Maintain God

To be an atheist is to maintain God. His existence or his non-existence, it amounts to much the same, on the plane of proof. Thus proof is a word not often used among the Handdarata, who have chosen not to treat God as a fact, subject either to proof or to belief: and they have broken the circle, and go free.
To learn which questions are unanswerable, and not to answer them: this skill is most needful in times of stress and darkness.

Le Guin, Ursula K., The Left Hand of Darkness, Gollancz, London, 1969. p123.


I am currently enjoying the The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin, having recently read the Earthsea series. Her writing is exceptionally good in my opinion and although her novels often get classified as Sci-Fi, Fantasy or Teenage Fiction they are truly beyond such categories. They are deep and engaging explorations of what it is to be human and are full of both subtle and direct wisdom. And they are written in a direct and simple manner.

I think that the above quote is a well illustrated gentle move towards non-duality. And the skill referred to was also demonstrated by the Buddha.