there is no cure for hot and cold
"Western Paradise" (Taima Mandala), Japan, Endo Period (1700s-1800s). On display at the Denver Art Museum, Asian Art Department.
The way to dissolve our resistance to life is to meet it face to face. When we feel resentment because the room is too hot, we could meet the heat and feel its fieriness and its heaviness. When we feel resentment because the room is too cold, we could meet the cold and feel its iciness and its bite. When we want to complain about the rain, we could feel its wetness instead. When we worry because the wind is shaking our windows, we could meet the wind and hear its sound. Cutting our expectations for a cure is a gift we can give ourselves. There is no cure for hot and cold. They will go on forever. After we have died, the ebb and flow will still continue. Like the tides of the sea, like day and night - this is the nature of things. Being able to appreciate, being able to look closely, being able to open our minds - this is the core of [loving kindness].
When the rivers and air are polluted, when families and nations are at war, when homeless wanderers fill the highways, these are traditional signs of a dark age. Another is that people become poisoned by self-doubt and become cowards.
Practicing loving-kindness towards ourselves seems as good a way to start illuminating the darkness of difficult times.
Being preoccupied with our self-image is like being deaf and blind. It's like standing in the middle of a vast field of wildflowers with a black hood over our heads. It's like coming upon a tree of singing birds while wearing earplugs.
-- Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart.