From Now is the Knowing
by the venerable Ajahn Sumedho
‘Sometimes we get too serious about everything, totally lacking in joy and happiness, with no sense of humour, just repressing everything. Gladden the mind, put a smile on your dial!
Be relaxed and at ease, without the pressure of having to achieve anything special — nothing to attain, no big deal, nothing special. And what can you say you have done today to earn your board and keep? Just one mindful inhalation? Crazy! But that is more than most people can say of their day.’
‘When I was first ordained, I was dead serious, very grim and solemn about myself, like a dried-up old stick, and I used to get in terrible states thinking, “I’ve got to… I’ve got to…” At those times I learned to contemplate peace. Doubts and restlessness, discontent and aversion – soon I was able to reflect on peace, saying the word over and over, hypnotizing myself to relax. The self-doubts would start coming – “I’m getting nowhere with this, it’s useless, I want to get something” – and I was able to be peaceful with that. This is one method that you can use.’