May 26 • 03:59 PM

Dusting off the toolbox for handy use

December 08, 2010
So I'm reaching back to some of the things I used to know about the way things work.

Back when I'm in the study group—it's going on seven or more years ago—all these tools are readily available, lined up neat and straight in the toolbox of my mind.

Today they're a bit dusty, rusty and some have vanished. Temporarily misplaced and/or taken from me. I lent them out, of course...

I recall these tools were all formed with words I'd read or certainties that I'd discovered to be true.

So I pull one of them out now and ponder it. It's all about watering seeds.

I know it's winter and the ground is frozen and now covered with snow so it's hard (literally and figuratively) to think about watering anything unless it's to slick the surface of an ice rink.

Still, the tool I'm reaching for now tells me every time I pull out a negative experience and examine its effect (also negative) on me, I'm watering that seed. That seed is sprouting. The more I do it the greater the sprout until I look above my head one day to see it's covered in the dark shade of a huge gnarly tree.

Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh says all that works the same way with the positive memories—the good seeds so to speak. Those are the ones that are worth pulling out and watering.

I hope everyone who stops by at this spot now and then grows a huge shady tree of knowledge rooted in love and sprouting with wisdom. With watering can in hand I go forth and give it a try.

Right now, as I mentioned earlier, even my watering can's just a little rusty. So in order to do the watering I'll borrow from a trusted source, a deep well of spiritual connection and light: Thich Nhat Hanh` himself. Here's some nourishment for the only seeds that count:

"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy."


"When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That's the message he is sending."


"People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child—our own two eyes. All is a miracle."


"We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness."


"My actions are my only true belongings."


"When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love."


"Through my love for you, I want to express my love for the whole cosmos, the whole of humanity, and all beings. By living with you, I want to learn to love everyone and all species. If I succeed in loving you, I will be able to love everyone and all species on Earth... This is the real message of love."


"A human being is like a television set with millions of channels.... We cannot let just one channel dominate us. We have the seed of everything in us, and we have to recover our own sovereignty."

Here's to recovery...

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Catherine Minolli is Managing Editor of the Tri-City Times. She began as a freelance writer with the Times in 1994. She enjoys the country life, including raising ducks and chickens.
Castle Creek
Milnes Ford
05 - 26 - 19
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