"There is no great mystery, really; what we need to do is straightforward. I don't mean that it is easy; the 'path' of practice is not a smooth road. It is littered with sharp rocks that can make us stumble or that can cut right through our shoes. Life itself is hazardous. Encountering the hazards is usually what brings people into Zen centers. The path of life seems to be mostly difficulties, things that give trouble. Yet the longer we practice, the more we begin to understand that those sharp rocks on the road are in fact like precious jewels; they help us to prepare the proper condition for our lives.
"The rocks are different for each person. One person might desperately need more time alone; another might desperately need more time with other people. The sharp rock might be working with a nasty person or living with somebody who is hard to get along with. The sharp rocks might be your children, your parents, anyone. Not feeling well could be your sharp rock. Losing your job could be it, or getting a new job and being worried about it. There are sharp rocks everywhere. What changes from years of practice is coming to know something you didn't know before: that there are no sharp rocks -- the road is covered with diamonds."
--From Nothing Special: Living Zen by Charlotte Joko Beck, 1993, pp. 113-14.
What are you noticing about your road?
for Mindful Monday
© November 24, 2014, post: Donna Pierce
Photo credit: "The Rocky Road," Liam Moloney, 2008.
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