‘Although we have been made to believe that if we let go we will end up with nothing, life itself reveals again and again the opposite: that letting go is the path to real freedom.
Just as when the waves lash at the shore, the rocks suffer no damage but are sculpted and eroded into beautiful shapes, so our characters can be moulded and our rough edges worn smooth by changes. Through weathering changes, we can learn how to develop a gentle but unshakable composure. Our confidence in ourselves grows, and becomes so much greater that goodness and compassion begin naturally to radiate out from us and bring joy to others.
That goodness is what survives death, a fundamental goodness that is in each and every one of us. The whole of our life is a teaching of how to uncover that strong goodness, and a training toward realizing it.’
—Sogyal Rinpoche author of ‘Tibetan Book of Living and Dying’ chapter 3
“That is the simple secret of happiness. Whatever you are doing, don’t let past move your mind; don’t let future disturb you. Because the past is no more, and the future is not yet. To live in the memories, to live in the imagination, is to live in the non-existential. And when you are living in the non-existential, you are missing that which is existential. Naturally you will be miserable, because you will miss your whole life.”
‘Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.
When we think that something is going to bring us pleasure, we don’t know what’s really going to happen. When we think something is going to give us misery, we don’t know. Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all. We try to do what we think is going to help. But we don’t know. We never know if we’re going to fall flat or sit up tall. When there’s a big disappointment, we don’t know if that’s the end of the story. It may be just the beginning of a great adventure. ‘
“Nobody can say anything about you. Whatsoever people say is about themselves. But you become very shaky, because you are still clinging to a false center. That false center depends on others, so you are always looking to what people are saying about you. And you are always following other people, you are always trying to satisfy them. You are always trying to be respectable, you are always trying to decorate your ego. This is suicidal. Rather than being disturbed by what others say, you should start looking inside yourself…
Whenever you are self-conscious you are simply showing that you are not conscious of the self at all. You don’t know who you are. If you had known, then there would have been no problem— then you are not seeking opinions. Then you are not worried what others say about you— it is irrelevant!
When you are self-conscious you are in trouble. When you are self-conscious you are really showing symptoms that you don’t know who you are. Your very self-consciousness indicates that you have not come home yet.”
‘Healing is the journey. The destination is yourself. The full recognition of all the different aspects of yourself.. your joy, your sorrow, your pain, your pleasure.. all lead you to the source of who you are. Only by having intimate contact with this source can you experience the fullness of your life. Only by fearlessly looking within can you embrace the landscape of your life and open yourself completely to all the love and compassion that lives inside you.’
~ Philip Berk
Hypnotic Fusion of Portraits by Spanish Photographer Antonio Mora
‘It’s incredibly scary to be deeply seen…but that moment is precious. There are people out there who will love you for everything that you are and everything that you aren’t. There are people out there who will want you on your good days and your bad days – when you are ugly and when you are pretty – when you are off and on – when you are everything and nothing. They will want to be there for you in your victories and they will hold you when you are defeated. I have a few people like that in my life, and I count myself to be one of the luckiest people on this earth to have a handful…and me, I know I am that person for a few others. I will go to the ends of the earth for those who I love and who need me, despite any circumstance, despite any distance, despite any time in between us…because I know one thing – life is incredibly complicated, people are very messy, and nothing is black and white. Life is a fully array of every color imaginable and if you begin to open up to the idea of “anything could happen”…it actually does happen. I don’t know what’s going to happen 5 minutes from now. I actually really don’t. But I am open to the uncertainty of it – in fact, I’ve fallen in love with now knowing what the hell is about to happen.
Don’t grip things to tight or else the cyclical nature of everything will remove itself from you. And here’s the thing, it’s time to drop the mask. My writing is my best effort at revealing more and more layers and my attempt to take off my mask. It’s scary. It’s anxiety inducing. It’s painful at times. But you will bring more authentic relationships into your life if people can see the real you. They want to know you are weak. They want to know that you struggle. They want to know you suffer and experience everything that can make you a little less strong than normal. They want to know those things because when they do know them, they will love you all the same. Strength…mighty strength…does not always come from being the strongest. They are many many different ways of being strong. There is great power in the movement of water just as much as there is great power in the mountain. Life comes in many different varieties – don’t limit yourself to simple resistance. Maybe it’s time things flowed a little and you brought your heart out – the depths of your heart – to play.’
“Sadness gives depth. Happiness gives height. Sadness gives roots. Happiness gives branches. Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth. Both are needed, and the higher a tree goes, the deeper it goes, simultaneously. The bigger the tree, the bigger will be its roots. In fact, it is always in proportion. That’s its balance.”
“Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us. We call it leaning into the sharp parts. Something hurts, lean in. You just lean into that point until it loses its power over you. There’s a certain amount of suffering that you have to be willing to sustain if you want to have a good life. And the trick is to be able to sustain it with your heart open and still be loving. This is the real trick.”
‘In a world full of distractions, it is easy to forget that we are all connected. An obsession with knowledge has lead us to forget the wisdom of simplicity. An epidemic of noise and movement has made us forget the beautiful stillness underneath it all. Now is the time for a new kind of movement, a “stillness movement.”
We are so used to chasing the tick tocks of modern society that we have forgotten what silence sounds like. But it is in that silence that we can find ourselves again. And when we do find ourselves, we realize that there is no self. We are actually the whole universe. Let us stop the tick tocks and hear the beautiful silence underneath it all, therein stillness will move us into the infinite moment.’