I can really relate to this Zen saying – usually those times when we most need the practices which ground us are exactly the periods when we abandon them.
There is a humility in asking for help – it brings us home to a sense of our common humanity. The words humility and humanity have the same root as the Latin word ‘humus’, which means soil or ground. When we are grounded, we feel comfortable being part of the natural cycle of giving and receiving.
A well-tended life is less a matter of ‘this is what you should do’, but more a question of ‘I wonder what might be needed today, given this time and place, and my particular circumstances?’
‘Joy comes from touching things that are refreshing and beautiful, within and outside of ourselves.’
‘Let tiny drops of stillness fall gently through your day.’
Regular mindfulness meditation can help us become more receptive to the nourishment which is present in our lives.
Even when life is busy, we can benefit from slowing down the pace a little; and we can also choose to build little ‘relaxation moments’ into our day.
I find that the ability to centre ourselves into what we are doing, rather than feeling ourselves pulled in all directions, is one of the greatest gifts of mindfulness.
Two key factors were involved in evoking the relaxation response – repetition, and disregarding other thoughts when they come to our mind.
For all of us there is a sweet spot, where we can balance a healthy sense of entitlement with awareness of the needs of others.