On this day 2018.
Celebrating a year of daily cartoons.
Share a favorite halloween costume.
Sometimes other people can be extra scary, or annoying, or hard in a very wide range of ways, and we may just need to take a moment to ourselves to reground. What's one thing you've done this week to take a break from people?
Sometimes someone who you love very much goes to a lot of effort to give you a big party on your birthday. The party is a surprise party. The party is awesome. It is a gathering filled with friends and food and love. Sometimes the person who you love very much seems really happy about what they've created for you, and for many years after they tell the story of that party to lots of friends. They seem very happy telling the surprise part. And sometimes you hold onto a secret for a dozen years, wondering when and how and if you'll ever spill the beans. Sometimes on a Friday afternoon you give the person who you love very much a present from your mother and her partner and yourself, and you finally or suddenly or somehow find the words that numerous time you fantasized saying in some grand or wild or heated fashion. But in that moment you're just saying words, sentences shared between you and the person who you love very much. These words have little aplomb, and no thunder either. They're just words, like quiet blades of grass that just grow along sidewalks, like trees that just blow around in the wind. They're ok. They may even have love in them, a simple kind of love. Sometimes a twelve-year-old secret just comes out and is changed into something else, no longer a secret. And there's possibly just not that much more to it. Share a story of your own about anything or anyone present in your life today.
The Empty Boat by Chuang Tzu
They who rule people live in confusion;
They who are ruled by people live in sorrow.
Yao therefore desired
Neither to influence others
Nor to be influenced by them.
The way to get clear of confusion
And free of sorrow
Is to live with Tao
In the land of the great Void.
If a person is crossing a river
And an empty boat collides with their own skiff,
Even though they be a bad-tempered person
They will not become very angry.
But if they see a person in the boat,
They will shout at the other to steer clear.
If the shout is not heard, they will shout again,
And yet again, and begin cursing.
And all because there is somebody in the boat.
Yet if the boat were empty.
They would not be shouting, and not angry.
If you can empty your own boat
Crossing the river of the world,
No one will oppose you,
No one will seek to harm you.
The straight tree is the first to be cut down,
The spring of clear water is the first to be drained dry.
If you wish to improve your wisdom
And shame the ignorant,
To cultivate your character
And outshine others;
A light will shine around you
As if you had swallowed the sun and the moon:
You will not avoid calamity.
A wise man has said:
“Those who are content with themselves
Have done a worthless work.
Achievement is the beginning of failure.
Fame is the beginning of disgrace.”
Who can free themselves from achievement
And from fame, descend and be lost
Amid the masses of humanity?
They will flow like Tao, unseen,
They will go about like Life itself
With no name and no home.
Simple are they, without distinction.
To all appearances they are fools.
Their steps leave no trace. They have no power.
They achieve nothing, have no reputation.
Since they judge no one
No one judges them.
Such is the perfect person:
Their boat is empty.
Adapted from Charlie Ambler: https://www.thedailyzen.org/2015/05/27/the-empty-boat-by-chuang-tzu/.
~ ~ ~
How are you emptying your boat today?
Sometimes we worry for good reasons. In fact, we may benefit from some of our concerns, not sleeping through danger and finding motivation to take action for ourselves and for others. Further, we may be able to see the world in important ways through the lens of our compassion for something bigger than us. What's one way that your troubles help you stay alert to life?
There are very many different ways that we can approach self-growth and practice with ourselves and our hearts toward more love, compassion, joy, and equanimity. Some ways that we learn, grow, heal, and do better work better for us than other ways. Some ways that we care for ourselves are common, others are rare, and still others are gaining long fought for social acceptance. What's one way that you do self-care that works particularly well for you?
Cultivating personal style, making rational and emotional choices about what we keep in the closet, and dealing with different kinds of limitations that sometimes govern how we dress — these are all parts of the often complicated ways that we mediate and regulate our social identities and our social realities. Sometimes there are clear explanations for what we put on in the morning, and sometimes our clothing is a bit of a mystery. Sometimes putting clothes on is fun and sometimes it's just the worst. What's something that's hard for you about what you wear? What's something you like about your wardrobe?
Because we are far more than a forebrain or a neocortex, when we find ourselves in certain contexts or times of our lives having to make sense above all else, we may experience a kind of malignancy and death in our psyches, in our wholeness, and in our relational selves. We may sometimes really benefit from periodic expressions of silliness and nonsense, emotion and movement. What's one way that you claim and reclaim the nonsensical?
We maybe all have our own quirky ways of helping other people. What's one of your favorite ways to help people?
Over the course of our lives, we may yearn to return or turn to favorite or new pastimes. What we wish to spend time doing may in moments seem far from reach. In other moments, beloved hobbies and novel activities can feel readily on hand to try out and enjoy. What's something you'd love to spend more time doing?
I love you already.
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