Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Wisdom of BOTH

"Do not cling to anything, to any idea; because clinging is the bondage, even to the idea of enlightenment."


"To gain enlightenment, you must want it as much as a man whose head is held under water wants air."

--Zen saying

Whenever I give my husband a choice between two things his answer is always the same: BOTH. 

It used to drive me CRAZY because I was raised in a world where you can't have BOTH. You can have one or the other, but not both. In his world BOTH is always an option and it is always the one he chooses. 

These quotes came, less than two weeks apart, from my Wisdom of the East Mini Day-to-Day Calendar. I had to laugh when I read the second one, because I remembered liking the first one and posting it on my fridge. 

I quickly found it and posted them together, held up by the same magnet, side by side. 

Every couple of days I would read them, laugh, and then put them back together where they belong.

Some days I know it is my desire for enlightenment that gets in my way.  I am trying too hard and by trying, missing the point.

Other days what holds me back is that I do not want it nearly enough. Because achieving enlightenment would mean giving up things that my ego values like pride, jealousy, gossip, righteousness and anger.

On the days when I pause and ask myself to decide - really - which of these quotes I believe to be TRUE the answer I get is always the same: BOTH 

Or as the Buddha said, "I gained nothing at all from supreme enlightenment, and for that very reason it is called supreme enlightenment."


  1. 'Knowledge is loud in proclaiming what it has... while Wisdom is silent before what it has not.'-Jonathan

  2. Love it! That's going on the fridge....Thanks as always JM.