June 25, 2010

Find Refuge in Your Own Life

Buddhist practice is not about forcing ourselves to be natural. It is about being ourselves. When we take the vows of refuge, we are also pledging to find the refuge that exists within our own lives. This taking of refuge is not some kind of evasion or escape, but is the planting of our "selves" deeply in the nature of what surrounds us. We lodge ourselves in the deep waves and in the shallow pools, in the crests and depressions of our lives. Sometimes, even wreckage can make a temporary resting place. A person whose life is in tatters might have nothing much else left to do but relax and look at the pieces of what's left.

-Gary Thorp, "Shelter from the Storm" (Summer 2005)

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