I wasn’t able to take any pictures of them, but last week we had some beautiful full Moon sunsets over the Rocky Mountains. Then I just came across this photo of the Moon and some mountains, with this “true emptiness” quote by Zen Master Seung Sahn. (The image comes from this link.)
“The greatest source of happiness is the ability to be grateful at all times.”
~ Zig Ziglar (and many others)
“Sometimes I think of Frank as the catcher in the rye, standing at the edge of the cliff, trying to save the world.”
~ Catherine talking about Frank, in Millennium
(Holden: “Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around — nobody big, I mean — except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff — I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be.”)
“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”
~ possibly from Lao Tzu
For many years I struggled with how to combine two of my main interests, Zen and work. I have read that the Zen mind is the mind before thinking, so it seems like Zen and work must be totally unrelated. Over time I came to understand phrases like, “When working, just work.”
This article contains a collection of quotes that have been helpful to me in understanding the relationship between Zen and work. Please note that I don’t wrap each quote in double quotes, and I also try to attribute each quote to the correct author/speaker. If you’re interested in how to combine Zen and work, I hope you’ll find them helpful.
A quote from the first episode of the tv series, The Dead Zone:
“Don’t you hate talking to sick people? You never know what to say. Just try and be cheerful, I guess, right?”
During one of my hospital stays in 2015, a nurse who was nearly named Amanda stopped in several times to talk to me, both when she was checking my vitals, and a couple of times on her breaks. We talked about life, death, and things in between; deep, honest conversations.
“Sometimes the mind ... for reasons we don’t fully understand, just goes to the store for a quart of milk.”
“When individuals are too self-centered, they tend to be prone to fear, suspicion, anxiety and anger. Compassion and restraining from harming others act as an antidote to this.”
~ the Dalai Lama
“Okay, well, here’s my story, here’s what you need to know. I’m just divorced and I had my heart broken badly by a woman that I really loved. But I think your heart grows back bigger. You know? Once you get the shit beat out of you, and the universe lets your heart expand that way. And I think that’s the function of all this pain and heartache that we all go through, you know, you gotta go through that to come out to a better place and that’s how I see it, anyway.”
One of the many great quotes from my favorite movie of the now, Must Love Dogs.
“To be a programmer is to develop a carefully managed relationship with error. There’s no getting around it. You either make your accommodations with failure, or the work will become intolerable.”
~ Ellen Ullman (via this tweet)
This quote makes me think of all those years of exception-handling with Java. I never knew there was a better way to handle errors, so I developed a strategy of letting my exceptions bubble up to the controller level (as in model/view/controller), where I would deal with them. These days I know I can use Option/Some/None in Scala, as well as Try/Success/Failure.