I drew this sketch this morning after reading a delightful passage in Thich Nhat Hanh’s book – Anger. The Chapter was called “Leaving the Shore of Anger”, but it could just as easily be called “Leaving the Shore of Anxiety”. These Pandemic Days of Uncertainty are causing most of us plenty of anxiety. That’s me on the the Eastern shore, calling out to myself – “Take the boat – it’s right there!” I had to laugh at my stubborn self!
Here’s is what Thich wrote:
“You are standing alone on the shore of suffering and anger (and anxiety). Why don’t you leave this shore, and go to the other shore – the shore of non-anger, peace and liberation? It’s so much more pleasant there.
There is a boat you can use to cross very quickly to the other shore. That boat is the practice of returning to ourselves through mindful breathing, so that we can look deeply at our suffering, anger, and depression (and anxiety), and smile at them. Doing this, we overcome our pain, and cross over to the other shore.
Right now you may be standing on the shore of confusion, anger or doubt (or anxiety). Don’t stay there. Take the boat! Cross over to the other shore.
You have the right to be happy.
You have the right to be compassionate.
You have the right to be loving.
You have the seed of awakening within you. With the practice you can turn this seed into a flower – right away.
Quicker than an Aspirin!