Thich Nhat Hanh often uses the phrase 'no mud, no lotus' to indicate that suffering and happiness interare, they come together and we cannot appreciate one without the other, although often we wish only for the lotus and want to be without the mud, forgetting that the lotus only grows from the mud.
Last night in our Sangha we spoke of gratitude, particularly for the practice and how it has helped us to grow, but one person reminded us we need to be grateful for the mud. It is the experiences when we are pulled up by our bootstrings and have to take stock of what we are thinking, what we are saying to ourselves about a situation that teach us the most and move us forward. And again it comes back to expectations and attachments. Can we see a situation as it is, without the dusty layers of our own thoughts, feelings and emotions?
Can we love?
Can we love
and hold the love so lightly
that if and when it chooses to fly
we shall only be gladdened by the flight
and not burdened by sorrow?
Can we hold the hand
of our beloved
and at the time it slips from our fingers
only remember the warmth that was there
and not dwell on the cold
now it has gone?
Can we suffer
and holding the suffering
as gently as a fragile, new-born baby,
tending to its needs with love
and infinite care
but not burdening it with layers of our own pain?
Can we question,
a deep-seated, heartstring-pulling question
that yearns to find completeness
and yet sit with it
rather than leaping forward
to search for the answer?
Can we walk
barefoot in the grass
feeling each prickle, coolness and bump,
each stone that pricks, each blade that tickles
and yet just walk each footstep
without knowing where the walking ends?
Can we love
each moment that occurs,
each blessed, heart-stopping, present moment
and receive it as a gift
instead of letting it slip by
into the unknown and unremembered distance?
© 23 July 2013