We can always start over

Some people think that Buddhists just resign themselves to misery.  They think that the expression “It is what it is” means just accepting whatever happens. The English monk Ajahn Sumedo argues that “seeing things as they are”* does not mean catastrophizing “dreadful things.”  Rather opening up to what is happening to us opens us up to the reality that “we can always start anew.”

The world is … chock-a-block full of intimidations, urgent messages, very important, shattering, destroying, destructive things, terrible prophesies, all kinds of things from the past and all kinds of dreadful things that might happen in the future. When we think about those things, then, of course, we get caught in becoming anxious, frightened, and insecure; threatened by the things that we can produce in our own minds. So we can get a perspective on that; not by suppressing anything, not by pushing anything down and rejecting it, but by seeing things as they are. We can always start anew.

*At the beginning of his essay Ajahn Sumedo uses the term “suchness,” which is just a noun for saying “it is what it is.”

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