Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Quote of the Day: Shunryu Suzuki on Life's Problems

From Theendlessfurther.com:
http://theendlessfurther.com/tag/shunryu-suzuki/ *
"When your life is always a part of your surroundings–in other words, when you are called back to yourself, in the present moment–then there is no problem. When you start to wander about in some delusion which is something apart from you yourself, then your surroundings are not real anymore, and your mind is not real anymore. If you yourself are deluded, then your surroundings are also a misty, foggy delusion. Once you are in the midst of delusion, there is no end to delusion. You will be involved in deluded ideas one after another. Most people live in delusion, involved in their problem, trying to solve their problem. But just to live is actually to live in problems. And to solve the problem is to be a part of it, to be one with it."
  - Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, 1970

So often we think that if only we could solve our problems, the problems we have today, that we'll be all set and life will be good.  But then you hear that rich people, or other people that you think have things "figured out," still have a lot of stress in their lives.

I think that this quote has it exactly right.  Life is problems.  You'll never solve them all, and if you do you'll just find more.  You have to embrace them.  No, you don't like having problems, of course, nobody does.  But maybe you learn to accept that you'll always have an endless to-do list or you'll never be as fit as you like or you'll never achieve all you want at work.  Fight the battles and savor the small victories, the precious moments.  I wish I had figured this out earlier.

* There were other pages that had this quote, of course.  But this page had a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon!