Grabbing hold of life

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Watching this video I heard Māra creeping up in the form of voices of naysayers, and looking around the world today their is no shortage of such people: the young and nihilistic, the old and crotchety, the middle-aged beer-bellied bad-mustached cop with the pepper spray. Such people are inescapable as we go through life. Anything of value that you do will be met by people who don’t want you to do it. Whether it’s due to their own insecurities, or ideologies, or anything else, simply remember: it’s just them.

But that’s not to say that ignoring them will make life easier. Or that anything will make life easier. Naysayers, after all, might have bits of wisdom to share. Perhaps a small change of subject is all that is needed to unlock this wisdom. Engagement might change everything, but it takes work.

Life, well lived, isn’t necessarily easy. But with practice we get better and better at taking what life gives us.

Subhuti (Thag 1.1)

My hut is roofed, comfortable, free of drafts; my mind, well-centered, set free.
I remain ardent. So, rain-deva. Go ahead & rain.

And we do learn to set aside those things that are not useful.

Mutta {Therigatha v. 11}

So freed! So thoroughly freed am I! — from three crooked things set free: from mortar, pestle, & crooked old husband. Having uprooted the craving that leads to becoming, I’m set free from aging & death.

In the end, or even as you are going along, it becomes clear that some people just don’t see. You might feel surrounded by those people – which is often a sign that things need to change. However the people who do see are out there and often more willing and happy than you would imagine to share what they see. Finding them, and asking the questions is up to you though.

Vappa (Thag 1.61) 

One who sees sees who sees, sees who doesn’t.
One who doesn’t see doesn’t see who sees or who doesn’t.

Verses from the Theragatha (poems of elder monks) and Therigatha (poems of elder nuns) via Access to Insight.

  • JMS

    “Anything of value that you do will be met by people who don’t want you to do it. ” Well said. Thank you for the poems as well. Some of the most beautiful writings of the cries, aspirations, and infallible achievements of humanity are in those collections.


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