I have been a student of Zen philosophy for quite some time. It has been a great source of inspiration and learning for me. The basics for me have been patience and compassion and simplifying my life at times.
Patience was my reason for my initial start with Zen. "You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger."
We all get caught up in this crazy, fast-paced world and there are many unhappy people out there who think they're continually getting farther and farther behind and have no hope of getting where they want to be. What they do not realize is that they ARE where they ARE. There is no escape....even for the enlightened. "Before enlightenment: chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment: chop wood and carry water." The world is the world...nothing changes it...we must learn to be happy through this struggle we call life.
A famous Chinese proberb: "At birth we come At death we go...bearing nothing." For some idiotic reason, the public believes we should all strive for more and more things in our life.....a new car or truck, a new home, the latest phones, a newer computer, etc. Most people work their entire lives to build up riches to give to someone else once they're gone. We came into this world with nothing and will leave with nothing....everything else is just....temporary fixations.
My goal in this is not to make everyone go out and buy Zen philosophy crib notes, but to make sense of slowing down and breathing and stopping the madness our society shoots at us with TV, internet, and radio.
Take time to cut off all electricity for a moment and think once in awhile. Take the time to really make sense of things. It's like taking a nap when you're completely exhausted..."We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves."
So go out there and start filling your jug....drop by drop. "To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders." Take a few minutes each day to meditate in a peaceful, quiet environment and see if it doesn't help with the stress of everyday life. I promise it will!!
Remember to be kind and compassionate to others and be patient with everyone. Simplicity, patience, and compassion are your greatest treasures.
Some drops for your jug from my favorite Zen Master, Lao Tzu:
"By letting it all go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try, the world is beyond winning."
"Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize nothing is lacking, the whole world belongs to you."
"Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them - that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like."
"Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power."
"An integral being knows without going, sees without looking, and accomplishes without doing."
"If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place."