Saturday, January 17, 2009

Quote for the day

from Healing into Life and Death
Stephen Levine
pp 39-40

What a miracle to send forgiveness and love into that which we have so often met with fear and loathing. To meet our pain and illness with loving kindness instead of hatred and anger brings a new trust in life. It allows the confusion that often constellates about discomfort to release its suffocating grasp. It offers an alternative to suffering. Each time we allow a merciful awareness into our discomforts is like standing at a crossroads. Not far to the right we can see the tension of confusion. But we notice just beneath our feet something quite amazing, the state of mind that precedes this great amplifier of pain. We discover the presence of bewilderment. .... We allow bewilderment in rather than compulsively running toward the confusion which turns life into an emergency. Investigating this bewilderment, as if for the first time we become "complete beginners" and notice an alternative: another road branching toward the spacious pastures and open vistas of "don't know." Toward a willingness to open to the old in a brand-new way. To take whatever teachings the moment provides in a deepening of our mercy and awareness.

The Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn often tells students to "trust that don't know." It is the space in which all wisdom arises, in which alternatives are to be discovered. ....

The difference between confusion and "don't know" is that confusion can only see one way out and that way is blocked, while "don't know" is open to miracles and insights. Pain often calls out for immediate conclusions. The mind implodes--force closes the heart. In confusion we are so far away from our selves; in "don't know" we are right there watching, fascinated. To enter our pain with mercy and love is to change the whole world with a deepening trust even in the unknown.

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