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The Buddha at Work's "Working for the Weekend" Quote for 8/27/10

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"It's sad that we don't understand that each moment of our lives--drinking a cup of coffee, walking down the street to pick up a paper--is it. Why don't we grasp that truth? We don't get it because our little minds think that this second that we're living has hundreds of thousands of seconds that preceded it and hundreds of thousands of seconds still to come, so we turn away from truly living our life. Instead we do what human beings spend all their time doing, which is a complete waste of time: we try mentally to scheme so that we will never have to suffer through a crisis. We spend all of our energies trying to be liked, successful, nice, agreeable, assertive (or non-assertive), depending on what we think will do it for us. We have schemes. Most of our energies go into these schemes, as we try to handle our lives so that we never hit bottom. That's why it's so wonderful to get close to the bottom."

"When this second is not me, or anything else, but just Oh!--and that doesn't mean some giant emotion, but just--then all of our worries are nonexistent. But usually we have such a realization only when we are pressed hard enough that our mind is pulled into the present moment; then we can forget all our schemes of fixing ourselves, somebody else, or circumstances. Most people spend fifty to ninety percent of their waking hours trying to avoid the bottom. Yet we can't avoid it. We're all on our way down, every one of us. We can't avoid the bottom, but we spend most of our time trying to do that.

Waking up means realizing that our situation is hopeless--and wonderful. There is nothing for us to do except simply to live this second."

- Charlotte Joko Beck, Nothing Special: Living Zen

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