The Loveliness of Things by Lao diZhi Shakya

The Loveliness of Things

I have merely attempted to put the view of the universe and man’s place in it which is common to all mystics in plain and simple language:  and to suggest the practical conditions under which ordinary persons may participate in their experience. Underhill

Watch out for the poop!
These alarm words came into my head about three-quarters of the way down the path to the gate. Annoying…just one more thing to pay attention to…I’ve got two full trash bags…heavy and banging up against the fence…I may have already stepped in the poop…

As I returned from depositing the trash in the alley bins I kept muttering to myself about how watching out for poop was an unwelcome addition.  The muttering included justifications for how it wasn’t my fault if I stepped in poop…I was being careful…I was always careful…who could ever be able to watch out for poop all the time…

Half-way down the path I suddenly realized what had just happened to me.  I wasn’t participating in my experience, I was complaining and moaning and groaning and muttering.  In an instant I understood…just watch where you are putting each foot as you walk back to the house…that’s all…just watch out for the poop.

It (practical mysticism) will teach them to see the world in a truer proportion…

A crash of thunder woke me from a deep sleep as it did our old dog.  We had given him Melatonin to help him sleep through the storm, but he was anxiously awake and our young dog was barking to try to calm him down.  This was the last thing I wanted…being up in the middle of the night with a crazy dog…and the barking…I wanted it to stop…I wanted…I wanted calmness…and quiet…I wanted not to have to be bothered.

I quickly corralled the old dog to his cushion…this stopped the barking of the young dog and he lay down on his cushion.  The storm wasn’t over, but if I sat between the dogs a hand on each head perhaps they would go to sleep and I could get back to bed.  An image of my humanitarian greatness floated into my mind…I would sit all night caring for these poor creatures. What self-sacrifice! To put their needs above my own need for a good night’s sleep.  And just on the other side I was still annoyed and irritated…I was cold and uncomfortable and tired.

And as I sat, surprisingly, a sense of truer proportion appeared.  All that was required was for me to drop my wanting things to be otherwise.  I started into my litany of memorized chants, saying each one carefully.  Just sit with the boys…one hand on each one not wanting anything.

Participate in experience…with… truer proportion.

That’s it.

Humming Bird

Author: Lao di Zhi Shakya

A Teaching

When life presents us with a new problem, a new chapter of experience for which the old adaptation is inadequate our usual response is withdrawal.

One phase of life has come to an end….and what is needed for the new is not immediately at hand.

All sorts of unwelcomed feelings may arise – depression, exhaustion, inertia, even self-rebuke for being lazy. Our energy needs to be mobilized to meet the new and to be creative in the middle of it.

M. E. Harding