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Charlotte Joko Beck Charlotte Joko Beck > Quotes


Charlotte Joko Beck quotes (showing 1-30 of 42)

“Life always gives us
exactly the teacher we need
at every moment.
This includes every mosquito,
every misfortune,
every red light,
every traffic jam,
every obnoxious supervisor (or employee),
every illness, every loss,
every moment of joy or depression,
every addiction,
every piece of garbage,
every breath.

Every moment is the guru.”
Charlotte Joko Beck
“When we refuse to work with our disappointment, we break the Precepts: rather than experience the disappointment, we resort to anger, greed, gossip, criticism. Yet it's the moment of being that disappointment which is fruitful; and, if we are not willing to do that, at least we should notice that we are not willing. The moment of disappointment in life is an incomparable gift that we receive many times a day if we're alert. This gift is always present in anyone's life, that moment when 'It's not the way I want it!”
Charlotte Joko Beck
“Most of our difficulties, our hopes, and our worries are empty fantasies. Nothing has ever existed except this moment. That's all there is. That's all we are. Yet most human beings spend 50 to 90 percent or more of their time in their imagination, living in fantasy. We think about what has happened to us, what might have happened, how we feel about it, how we should be different, how others should be different, how it's all a shame, and on and on; it's all fantasy, all imagination. Memory is imagination. Every memory that we stick to devastates our life.”
Charlotte Joko Beck, Nothing Special
“It's of no use to look back and say, "I should have been different." At any given moment, we are the way we are, and we see what we're able to see. For that reason, guilt is always inappropriate.”
Charlotte Joko Beck, Nothing Special
“There is a foundation for our lives, a place in which our life rests. That place is nothing but the present moment, as we see, hear, experience what is. If we do not return to that place, we live our lives out of our heads. We blame others; we complain; we feel sorry for ourselves. All of these symptoms show that we're stuck in our thoughts. We're out of touch with the open space that is always right here.”
Charlotte Joko Beck, Nothing Special
“Anxiety is always a gap between the way things are and the way we think they ought to be. Anxiety is something that stretches between the real and unreal. Our human desire is to avoid what's real and instead to be with our ideas about the world:

"I'm terrible." "You're terrible." "You're wonderful." The idea is separated from reality and anxiety is the gap between the idea and the reality that things are just as they are.

When we cease to believe in the object that we've created -- which is off to one side of reality, so to speak -- things snap back to the center. That's what being centered means. The anxiety then fades out.”
Charlotte Joko Beck
“Joy is being willing for things to be as they are.”
Charlotte Joko Beck, Nothing Special
“...we're constantly waking up to what we're about, what we're really doing in our lives. And the fact is, that's painful. But there's no possibility of freedom without this pain.”
Charlotte Joko Beck, Nothing Special
“Body tension will always be present if our good feeing is just ordinary, self-centered happiness. Joy has no tension in it, because joy accepts whatever is as it is.”
Charlotte Joko Beck, Nothing Special
“Religion really means to rejoin that which seems to be separate.”
Charlotte Joko Beck
“We have a fictional “I” that we try to love and protect. We spend most of our life playing this futile game. “What will happen? How will it go? Will I get something out of it?” I, I, I—it’s a mind game of illusion, and we are lost in it.”
Charlotte Joko Beck, Everyday Zen: Love & Work
“My dog doesn’t worry about the meaning of life.”
Charlotte Joko Beck, Everyday Zen: Love and Work
“Daily sitting is our bread and butter, the basic stuff of dharma. Without it we tend to be confused.”
Charlotte Joko Beck
“We tend to run our whole life trying to avoid all that hurts or displeases us, noticing the objects, people, or situations that we think will give us pain or pleasure, avoiding one and pursuing the other.”
Charlotte Joko Beck, Everyday Zen: Love and Work
tags: life
“The best way to let go is to notice the thoughts as they come up and to acknowledge them.”
Charlotte Joko Beck, Everyday Zen: Love and Work
tags: way
“If we can accept things just the way they are, we’re not going to be greatly upset by anything.”
Charlotte Joko Beck, Everyday Zen: Love and Work
tags: way
“Awareness is our true self; it’s what we are. So we don’t have to try to develop awareness; we simply need to notice how we block awareness, with our thoughts, our fantasies, our opinions, and our judgments. We’re either in awareness, which is our natural state, or we’re doing something else. The mark of mature students is that most of the time, they don’t do something else. They’re just here, living their life. Nothing special.”
Charlotte Joko Beck
“When we’re lost in thought, when we’re dreaming, what have we lost? We’ve lost reality. Our life has escaped us.”
Charlotte Joko Beck, Everyday Zen
“When I watch my mind and stay with my body, out of that comes some course of action.”
Charlotte Joko Beck
“Essentially, this extra structure covering our life has no reality. It has come to be there because of the misuse of our minds. It’s not a question of getting rid of it, since it has no reality; but it is a question of seeing its nature. And as we see its nature, instead of it being so thick and dark, the covering becomes more transparent: we see through it. Enlightenment (bringing in more light) is what happens in practice. Actually we’re not getting rid of a structure, we’re seeing through it as the dream it is, and as we realize its true nature its whole function in our life weakens; and at the same time we can see more accurately what is going on in our daily life. It’s as if we have to go full circle. Our life is always all right. There’s nothing”
Charlotte Joko Beck, Everyday Zen
“If from morning to night we just took care of one thing after another, thoroughly and completely and without accompanying thoughts, such as “I’m a good person for doing this” or “Isn’t it wonderful, that I can take care of everything?,” then that would be sufficient.”
Charlotte Joko Beck
“If we have the patience to wait until the mud (our mind) settles and the water is clear, if we remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself, the right words will arise, without our thinking about them.”
Charlotte Joko Beck
“In practice, we return over and over again to perception, to just sitting. Practice is just hearing, just seeing, just feeling.”
Charlotte Joko Beck, Nothing Special
“We all have to practice, and we have to practice with all of our might for the rest of our lives.”
Charlotte Joko Beck, Everyday Zen: Love and Work
tags: life
“We enter a discipline like Zen practice so that we can learn to live in a sane way.”
Charlotte Joko Beck, Everyday Zen: Love and Work
“I struggle with my life because instead of just doing what needs to be done, I fight the underlying fear; I try to unlock the door. Paradoxically, the only way to unlock the door is to forget the door.
Instead of obsessing about the locked door, we need to be going about our lives, which means cleaning up the house, taking care of the baby, going to work, whatever.”
Charlotte Joko Beck
“Joy is being the circumstances of our life just as they are.”
Charlotte Joko Beck, Nothing Special
tags: life
“If we cease looking, searching, what are we left with? We’re left with what’s been right there at the center all the time. Underneath all that searching there is distress. There is unease. The minute that we realize that, we see that the point isn’t the search, but rather the distress and unease which motivate the search. That’s the magic moment—when we realize that searching outside of ourselves is not the way.”
Charlotte Joko Beck, Everyday Zen
“Living Zen is nothing special: life as it is. Zen is life itself, nothing added.”
Charlotte Joko Beck, Nothing Special
tags: life
“At any given moment, we are the way we are, and we see what we’re able to see.”
Charlotte Joko Beck, Nothing Special

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