Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher


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Are you trying to be enlightened? Stop it.

Source: Zen Flash 

Trying to find a Buddha or enlightenment is like trying to grab space. Space has a name but no form. It’s not something you can pick up or put down. And you certainly can’t grab it. Beyond this mind you’ll never see a Buddha. The Buddha is a product of your mind. Why look for a Buddha beyond this mind?

– Bodhidharma ∞ Thich Nhat Hanh Philosophy & Practice

I used to think there was a place to be. A place where on this journey of life I’d know, deep within me, I had arrived.

And once there, I’d never leave.

I’m so human!

I’m learning, there is no such ‘place’. No such “I’ll never leave because here is where I’m awake, aware and conscious. And that’s how I shall always be forever more.”

I have had moments of feeling enlightened. Moments of feeling like, “AHA! This is it. This is what they mean to let go.”

And then, that place moves away. I move on. Life shifts.

I am learning that being where I am, in this moment, is more precious than trying to get to ‘the next’.

That being conscious of what is happening to me and around me right now, is more fulfilling than dreaming of what will be in the moment coming up.

I am learning.

Enlightenment is not a place to be, a thing to achieve or hold onto. It is a way. A way of living in this moment without trying to make this moment count more than the last, or less than the next.

It is a balance. A balance of being real and human. Being present and unaware. Being vulnerable and protected. Setting boundaries. Pushing through them.

It is not letting one or the other override either.

It is letting one and the other exist in this moment, this space, together.

It is claiming my right to be heard, seen, known while honouring with equal respect, everyone else’s right to be heard, seen, known.

It is… being human.

Which means, honouring my capacity to stand up while falling down. To give in while holding out. To hold on while letting go.

It means embracing the contradictions while holding firm to certainty.

Speaking truth while making space for other’s truth to be spoken knowing, there is truth in all things yet all things are not true.

It means, not striving to be anyone or anything other than who I am in this moment. Right now. Knowing, this moment right now will not last forever.

I used to think I had to get somewhere to know I’d arrived.

I’ve learned that what I know is nothing compared to what I don’t know.

And that’s okay. Because in the duality of knowing what I don’t know, I am learning that being where I am is the best place to be for me to see the possibilities of where I can go when I let go of believing I have to get somewhere else to be who I am.

Namaste.

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Photo and Quote Source:  Zenflash


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The View Through My Window This Morning

The View Through My Window This Morning

I got blown away this morning by one short paragraph. Imagine, all it took to stop my heart, deepen my breathing and open my senses wide open to the truth were a string of vowels and consonants strung together to create a vision of wisdom for my soul to feast on.

My blog-friend Val Boyko shares a quote and photo from Zen philosopher Thich Nhat Hanh on her blog this morning entitled, That Particular Moment

The quote she shares begins with, “When something upsets you, when something happens that is not to your liking in your family or your community, you want to change it right away.”  What Thich Nhat Hanh writes afterwards is so simple, so elegant so filled with loving kindness putting it into practice cannot help but create a better world for all.

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Photographer and a new blog find for me, Mary Hone, shares beautiful photographs of the journey she and her artist husband, Al Hone, are taking on backroads of America with their dog and fifth wheeler on her blog, Tales from the Backroad. On Tuesday, Mary asked for help with votes in a competition she’s entered at Fine Art America. It’s a simple and elegant way to make a difference today simply by clicking on the title above each of Mary’s photos and voting (you need a FB account). You’ll make a difference today and give a feast to your eyes and all your senses.

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Yvonne, at The Presents of Presence, is a breast cancer survivor and a woman of deep faith and beauty. In Wasting a Mind Away, she writes with loving kindness about caring for her Aunt Mable whose mind has been devastated by loss and disease.

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Mark Kolke, the man who originally inspired me to begin blogging 8 years ago, has a blog today on a decision coming down from the Supreme Court of Canada today on Assisted Suicide. A touchy, divisive and important conversation is being held right now on our Eastern slopes to decide, do we or don’t we allow those who are standing helplessly by while loved ones struggle to breathe, ease their pain and suffering. Mark’s post, There Will Be Change, is worth the read. Let’s hope those who make the law of our land agree.

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Have a wonderful Friday!