Sunday, March 21, 2010


DHS 130
(with a brush out of ink)

Some thoughts:
"The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it."

"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor souls who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."

"What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is
rarely a function of our true capability. It is more likely a function of our
beliefs about who we are.
~Tony Robbins~

So many of the great names that we read about exemplified these thoughts in their lives: our limits are defined not by what we can do but what we think we can do, by what we dare to try, by what we dare to dream, and it is braver to aim high and miss than to aim low and hit. But what's amazing to me is that so many people who have succeeded beyond people's wildest expectations took their first steps not really knowing where they were headed.

When Kōbō Daishi left the university and a life of status and prestige and headed back to Shikoku, did he have any idea what his life would become? Did he have any idea that he would eventually found a new sect of Buddhism? When Dōgen Zenji decided to stop fighting the establishment and left Kyōto for the mountains of Echizen to build Eiheiji Monastery, did he have any idea that he would leave behind Soto Zen instead of just a few trained monks? When Mother Teresa gave up her teaching job in a convent and began begging on the streets of Calcutta every day in order to gather what was needed to care for the poor and sick, did she know that she would leave behind a movement? When Abraham Lincoln decided to run for president, did he know he would leave behind the Emancipation Proclamation and the end of slavery? When Martin Luther King decided to spend more time on the streets and less time in the pulpit, did he know he would succeed in leaving behind civil rights?

All of these people had very strong beliefs about who they were and what they were "supposed" to do with their lives. These beliefs didn't tell them where they were supposed to end up, just what they were supposed to do. These beliefs didn't leave any room in their lives for anything except finding a way to satisfy that burning need to aim for the unattainable. They all, in their own way, chose to spend their lives walking a path through all of the hazards and pitfalls of life with the single-minded goal of doing what they knew they were called to do with the one and only life they had to offer.

And it all starts with coming to an understanding of the beliefs we hold about who and what we are.

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