By Juan Garzón Vergara
Juan came to the Abbey for our one-month winter retreat on Medicine Buddha. A first-time visitor to the Abbey, he sent us this reflection on his journey during the winter retreat. He said, “The following words are inspired by what I learned, meditated and what you generously taught me.”
- Start from where you are
Don’t blame yourself for the past
Don’t be tied down with expectations about the future
What you have now is enough
“Good enough, dear”
- Nothing is permanent, everything changes
Nothing is concrete or solid
What we have are castles of sand
that will fade away.
What begins, will end.
Let it go, nothing is guaranteed.
Only death, unpredictable and certain.
- The world of “I”, “me” and “mine”
is the seed of all trouble
That “I” that you seek to defend
does not exist, it is empty.
The character that you have invented,
that approves or disapproves of others
it’s just another label
to feel safe.
Don’t try to change others, accept them
and change yourself.
- Do not run from your fears
Open the door to them, let them in
Abandon your armor
The more you protect yourself
the more vulnerable you will be
Your world will become narrow and dark
Give space to the unknown
Act with more curiosity and less fear
Do not judge, who are you to do it
Let the world speak to you, listen to it
When the resistance is gone
your fears disappear.
- You don’t have to make everything a drama,
don’t take yourself so seriously
If you wrote a letter
whenever you are upset or distressed
and send it to you by mail,
when you receive it, everything will be over
Stop building stories.
What you feel, what shudders you
will become a memory
It will no longer be because it does not exist
Let it go.
- Whenever you can, help others
or at least do not harm them
Connect with the suffering of others
and you will discover yourself.
Open your heart
That is the courage of compassion
start by understanding your pain
share and reduce that of others.
- Your “enemies”
those difficult people
and adverse situations
are your teachers
They trigger the karma that you haven’t worked out
They are a mirror that reveals your weaknesses
They are a treasure to be cherished.
- Everything you have has been given to you.
Your body, your name, your knowledge
everything comes from others.
There’s no reason to be so proud of yourself
nor to protect so much something that does not belong to you
Acknowledge the generosity of others
Thank them with love and compassion
You will realize that it is the best way
to appease your ego.
- Nothing external will give you happiness
Just moments that will come and go
even if you want to make them permanent.
Don’t expect others to fulfill your wishes
No one is to blame for your dissatisfaction
If your happiness depends on others
if it’s out of your control
You will never have it.
Take responsibility for your own experience
Your tranquility is in your heart.
Every moment is perfect.
- Patience, everything is a process
changes take time
There are no shortcuts, no magic formula
Life is wonderful and also painful
Let it go
Heal your wounds
Don’t jump with your aversion or attachment
keep your heart open
Be nice to yourself, drop expectations
embrace your motivation.
Learn to pause, to breathe
Give space to others and yourself.
In the meantime…enjoy.