Saturday, March 10, 2012

Life in the woods, life on the trail

I used to think I wanted nothing to do but to walk in the woods,
one step at a time,
breathing in the earth, the clouds, the trees,
to stop when I am tired, to eat when I am hungry,
to wash in clear streams.

Today I remember,
there is night, cold, rain, thunder, lightning, hunger,
loneliness, bruises, sores, sickness, rats, mice, hard ground, briars,
brush. There are these things in the woods also.


I have so many good people everywhere that are nurturing and loving, like
the well-travelled paths through the woods.
And the negative interactions I have with others are like the brush, the briars, the boulders,
the rocks blocking my path in the woods. Both exist.

Therapists want to help us throw out what is unwanted and keep only
what is wanted. But what is left may not be very much. If we try
to throw away what we don’t want, we may throw away most of ourselves.
Instead of acting as if we can dispose of parts of ourselves, we should learn
the art of transformation. We can transform our anger, for example,
into something more wholesome, like understanding. We do not need surgery
to remove our anger. If we become angry at our anger, we will have two angers
at the same time. We only have to observe it with love and attention. If we take care
of our anger this way, without trying to run away from it, it will transform itself.
This is peacemaking. If we are peaceful in ourselves, we can make peace
with our anger. We can deal with depression, anxiety, fear,
or any unpleasant feeling in the same way.
---Thich Nhat Hanh

Resting in the river. Transforming in the river.


Post a Comment

<< Home