Life in a small town

Death of Self …

Mikoto”, by Kobudo, from the album “Ototabi”  (2013)

“There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you will still get the same soaking. This understanding extends to everything.”

Tsunetomo Yamamoto

As I remarked in a previous post, I have finally realized that it is impossible for a proud man to give himself humility … it is impossible for an impoverished man to give himself wealth … it is impossible for a sick man to give himself health.

Therefore, to be truly humble, that is genuinely humble, I have to apply myself first of all to humility of heart and continue to deepen the sincere recognition of my nothingness, my weakness. An important part of that recognition is a sincere acceptance of responsibility for my thoughts, words, and deeds. Isn’t it funny how accepting responsibility shows up as the foundation of every attempt to know oneself.

I must acknowledge and accept my faults and my failings without trying to assign any other case or cause for them than my own miserable failings. There are no reasonable excuses for bad talk, or bad behaviour, or bad thinking. My bad is just that … my bad. I cannot slough off responsibility for myself and my conduct by blaming others, or the situation I find myself in, or the actions or faults of others now or in the past. Only I am responsible,  and only I am to blame for what I do, or think, or say.

A quiet rainy day, and I am thinking on surrender… and freedom … not in opposition.  The question is really about surrender to the world and to chains of slavery to passions, or surrender to God and freedom from all the cares, fears, and anxieties of this world



Just a little rough patch

Since 9/11 we have given up a lot of freedom quite willingly. The current round of restrictions courtesy of our made-in-government crisis is just another brick in the wall … but death of self and surrender to God transcends this world and it’s troubles …

The Inner Struggle


I seem to be stuck in the “Listen Lord, Your servant is speaking” phase. From “Imitation of Christ:

If we focused on improving ourselves we would not be so disturbed by the resistance by others to our opinions.

Often something inside or something outside draws us along and we secretly seek ourselves in everything we do.  And yet we are oblivious to that. We continue peacefully along when everything is done according to OUR will and as WE judge, but if things turn out against OUR will we move quickly to dissension, strife and unhappiness.

Differences of opinion and thought are the most common source of all dissension, strife and unhappiness between family and friends and groups of otherwise sincere and well meaning folks. Old habits of thought are difficult to put aside.

No one is willing to go further than they see or are happy with. But, If you rely only on your own reason and work you will be unlikely to achieve peace, enlightenment and happiness. The fatal trap is “self”. The death of “self” is freedom and the gate to peace.