To know yourself is the foundation of all understanding. What you are, the world is. If you are miserable, confused and chaotic, the world is miserable, confused and chaotic. We create our worlds by the way we live. We create our problems. The world does not create our problems. You can change your life if you accept the world for what it is.
There is no life without relationships. No one lives in isolation. We have relationships with people, places, things and ideas. These relationships exist in the present, not in the past. If something happens to unsettle a friendship, then it is natural to move on. There is only friendship as long as we are at peace and our relationships mirror our lives.
The best relationships are those in which you are equal. When you are not teacher and student, employer and employee, brother and sister, father and daughter, but two people meeting, maybe for the first time.
Ask yourself ‘What do my friendships reveal about me?’
A Simple Mind
We are made of memories and experiences, but most important, beliefs. Maybe we crave the certainty that came during childhood, when our parents held all the answers. Then we grow up and look to others for answers: leaders, priests, commentators, politicians, expounders, explainer. Beliefs bind and isolate our minds. We seek security from knowing the answers to the things we fear. When we identify with a religion or a group, our opinions and values are governed by others.
Yet it seems nowadays that so many leaders have no answers.
What is we discard the ‘self’? What if we no longer desire power, position or influence? What is all that we need is to be aware and to live from moment to moment without consideration or justification? Would we not then be more thoughtful, more alert and less gullible?
True simplicity happens when you are free of beliefs. True humility is when you meet life without reference to fear.
The Thinker and the Thought
Thought is self-protecting, self-perpetuating and self-interested. Beliefs tell us how to react, conditional on our memories, experiences, prejudices, upbringing and conditioning. The dilemma is that the more you learn, the less your capacity to take on new ideas. We resist new ideas because we fear they might transform us.
How peaceful it is not to think. How good to be silent. Pay attention to your thoughts. Do not judge. Let these appear. Do not hold on. Let go. You will find understanding when your mind is quiet.
The cup is useful only when it is empty. To empty your mind, write down your thoughts and empty your mind ready for the next.
Create without effort, without turmoil. With a quiet, tranquil mind, free of distractions, every situation will appear new, like clear mountain water flowing down a river. Outwardly nothing has changed – the smoothed pebbles on the river bed, the wild flower verges and the mountain vistas, yet the water is fresh and clear, flowing for the first time along this river. So it is with our work. In this place there is no perception of time. Work fast without effort. When you are in the flow, there are no problems or barriers, unaware of the moving pen or fingers tapping on the keyboard.