Wednesday, November 17, 2010


This was written by Adam Miller at Progressive Buddhism. It really makes sense and deserves a read....I hope you like it as much as I did...

I want to hew close to the bone of life. I want to press myself right up against the grain of its pulse. I want to
tongue life's live nerve.
s is fine-grained. It's going to require a shift in scale. I'm
going to have stop living life in chunks of weeks and months, even in
terms of hours and days. This is too far from the action, six st
eps too
removed. I'm going to have to live life at the scale of minutes and
seconds - at the scale of fractions of seconds if I'm able.

going to have
to practice. This is hard to do. I'm going to have bring
myself back - again, again, again - to that which i
s so common, so
ordinary, so insignificant as to flit by at life's own breakneck pace.
I'm going to have to practice a finely-grained humility that is so
modest as to r
egister whatever is given at however small a scale as
worth my attention.

The modesty of the scale is hard to swallow. I had bigger plans in mind for myself. I was going to be a contender.

A breath? Really? An itch in my big toe? Really? A breeze tickling the rim of my ear? A brush of a kiss from wife's chapped lip?

Why not? What was I hoping for?
the modesty of pressing your full attention into the pressure and
resistance of a single deep breath. The whole thing is right here,
presented in flagrante, on a manageable scale.

and despair? Cupped in ignorance (or mystery, if you'd prefer), the
whole drama unfolds with transparent subtlety on the scale of seconds.
Hours, days, years, are hard to get your head around. But seconds . . .
Here, the breath ebbs and flows. Hope is inhaled. You're getting what
you hoped for, you're getting what you hoped for, you're getting what
you hoped for . . . full. Despair is exhaled, exhaled, exhaled. Before
your lungs are empty you know you'll have to start again.

and despa
ir do what they do. They come and they go. They ebb and they
flow. They rise and they fall. See it on the scale of seconds. See
their most ordinary face. Hope and despair on the scale of hours and
days and years is just more of the same. But now you've seen what they
are. How they work. How they come and go.

Don't be done with either of them. Let them do what they do. Rest in
them. Rest in their push and pull, and something else will happen: a
great peace and compassion will arise. A tenderness and sensitivity
enabled by immense modesty will take hold.

on the drama of hope/despair/ignorance - a drama available in microcosm
in each moment - I can look with compassion on how the whole thing
plays out, on how the same drama repeats itself in m
y hours, weeks, and
years. I can look with compassion on my vanity, my weakness, my fear
and, without excusing or fleeing them, name them for what they are and
watch, then, as their grip loosens. They just are what they are:
ordinary. I don't need to worry. The worry, spacing me from life, is
what wrings the life out of life's passing.

Change scale. You're trying to work with an out-sized canvas. It feels like you can't manage a project on such a scale because you can't.

The meek shall inherit the earth.
Thank you from the Progressive Buddhism bloggers

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