To Begin With

I suffer because of how I relate to my thoughts and feelings. I suffer because I try to build on thoughts and feelings, all of which are ephemeral and unstable. Suffering comes from clinging to hope and recoiling from fear, an exhausting carousel. At times a truly significant event incites the cycle, but just as often it is a small slight, inconvenience, or success (many of which are also completely imaginary). Thoughts and feelings never fully satisfy me because they are all fleeting. I am exhausted because I am always treading water.

“We cannot deny the existence of pleasant and unpleasant sensations, but they are trivial with respect to genuine well-being.”

-Matthieu Ricard

I will fail if I attempt to force the mind and heart to be silent, or calm, or happy, or peaceful. The key is to:

  1. Begin again and again in my practice of being aware of
  2. thoughts and feelings which are
  3. individually temporary, and
  4. collectively never-ending.

Over time, experiencing thoughts and feelings in this way allows me to step behind the water fall. It is here, behind the stream but fully aware of it, that I find stable footing.