Lightly child, lightly.

When we examine our thought stream with mindfulness, we encounter the inner sound track. As it plays, we can become the hero, the victim, the princess, or the leper. There is a whole drama department in our head, and the casting director indiscriminately handing out the roles of inner dictators and judges, adventurers and prodigal sons, inner entitlement and inner impoverishment. Sitting in a meditation class, we are forced to acknowledge them all. As Anne Lamott writes, “My mind is like a bad neighborhood. I try not to go there alone.”

When we see how compulsively these thoughts repeat themselves, we being to understand the psychological truth of samsara, the Sanskrit word for circular, repetitive existence. In Buddhist teaching, samsara most commonly refers to the wheel of life. On this wheel, beings are reborn and subject to suffering until they develop understanding and find liberation. Samsara also describes the unhealthy repetitions in our daily life. On a moment-to-moment level, we can see our samsaric thought patters re-arise, in unconscious and limited ways. For example, we see how frequently our thoughts include fear, judgment, or grasping. Our thoughts try to justify our point of view. As an Indian saying points out: “He who cannot dance claims the floor is uneven.”

~Jack Kornfield, The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology


  • Quote: Make Believe Boutique. Photo: Patty Maher with She danced among the trees
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”


  1. So many truths.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cognitive therapy couched in far more beautiful terms. Need a love button

    Liked by 2 people

    • Smiling. It is couched beautifully. Such internal violence. Your comment reminds me of:

      ‘Just like any civilized person, you’ve spent practically your whole life torturing an innocent wild creature. Starved it, then force-fed it, cut it, cursed it, driven it to exhaustion. Imprisoned it with other creatures who tormented it.’

      ‘What?” Diana shakes her head in miserable confusion. ‘I don’t even kill spiders! I never wanted to hurt anything.’

      ‘ The innocent wild creature to which I refer, my darling, is you.’

      ~ Martha Beck, Diana, Herself: An Allegory of Awakening

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Yes so many perfections and truths written and yes all this we go thru our lives in order to break away and know who we really are. A perfect picture too, David.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So true. Being an Indian and growing up with these discussions and ideals, i can certainly agree to all this!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. No matter how many times I read that quotation, I always find it refreshing and new when I read it. It’s as though the words traipse so lightly, they cannot find purchase in my soul, but wing out and away like flocks dipping and swaying in pursuit of summer insects.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow, beautifully stated. Thanks for sharing. Your thought reminds me of:

      August of another summer, and once again
      I am drinking the sun
      and the lilies again are spread across the water.
      I know now what they want is to touch each other.
      I have not been here for many years
      during which time I kept living my life.
      Like the heron, who can only croak, who wishes he
      could sing,
      I wish I could sing.
      A little thanks from every throat would be appropriate.
      This is how it has been, and this is how it is:
      All my life I have been able to feel happiness,
      except whatever was not happiness,
      which I also remember.
      Each of us wears a shadow.
      But just now it is summer again
      and I am watching the lilies bow to each other,
      then slide on the wind and the tug of desire,
      close, close to one another,
      Soon now, I’ll turn and start for home.
      And who knows, maybe I’ll be singing.

      — Mary Oliver, “The Pond,” Felicity: Poems (Penguin Press, 2015)

      Liked by 5 people

  6. Love this … and your additional words David ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. i love every word of this. and the quotes – wow!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, this is a good one, and I’m loving your comment “addenda”.

    The Anne L. quote is a favorite, yet we all go in there alone at times.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. love the Annie quote–our minds share the same neighbourhood….

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve read and re-read this… so very true… and all the additional comments below it. Just. Wow, David. You do cause us to reflect, don’t you?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you, David! You bring us truth with poetic form and gentle “oh yes” rather than the hurtfulness we can so easily inflict on ourselves. Appreciation to Anne La Motte and Martha Beck…how wonderful to know we are known…and still loved! [italics known, still]

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This resonates so profoundly, pal… I never tire of Lamott and Oliver, and as someone else noted, the comments and follow-on are as rich as the original post. What a community you have cultivated here, my friend. Just need Sawsan to weigh in with something lyric and my day will be complete….

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you David for sharing – what a lovely push to make us reflect…great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. And this is always a good neighborhood to visit. Let me know if any real estate comes on the market.

    Liked by 2 people

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