" . . . the little monk told him that everything we notice, everything we think, all the feelings we accumulate, don't just disappear when we get done with them. They lie submerged below the surface of our lives - anger, gratitude, beer advertisements, pride, gladness, the smell of the woodshed, dreams of revenge, the sour taste of shame. They bubble up at times we can't control, nourishing or nasty.
So be careful what you store, he said. Don't collect the bad stuff, and don't let anybody else leave their trash with you either. Let it flow through, in one door, out the other, like a scouring tide . . . pay attention to the present moment. Every moment we are wondering at the path of wind across the water or smiling to see a dog rest in the sun, we are not rehearsing our misfortunes. Every moment we are glad for the twilight of morning, we are not vexed. It is impossible to be at the same time grateful and spiteful. Breathe: sea-wind, kelp-brine, cold. Notice: firewood, otter track, foxglove, fog, a face flickering in the fire."
(illustration by Frann Preston-Gannon)