“With the contemplation of the impermanence of the human form, something very deep and peaceful opens up inside you. That is why I enjoy going to cemeteries. When you accept the impermanence, out of that comes an opening within, which is beyond form. That which is not touched by death, the formless, comes forward as you completely accept the impermanence of all forms. That’s why it is so deeply peaceful to contemplate death.
If someone close to you dies, then there is an added dimension. You may find there is deep sadness. The form also was precious, although what you loved in the form was the formless. And yet, you weep because of the fading form. There too, you come to an acceptance – especially if you are already familiar with death, you already know that everything dies – then you can accept it more easily when it happens to somebody close to you. There is still deep sadness, but then you can have the two dimensions simultaneously – the outer you weeps, the inner and most essential is deeply at peace. It comes forward almost as if it were saying “there is no death”. It’s peace.”
“Being challenged is a good thing. It allows you to grow.”
A synonym of “exam” (as in examining your own reactions and emotions) is “observation.” It requires moments and space to step back and observe what is going on inside of you. This is challenging but necessary in the steps to stretch, grow and evolve.
Byron Katie and Oprah were talking about the issue of saying “no” to others and feeling used. Oprah mentioned some family members who repeatedly have “used her” and asked for money. But Katie said, “Nobody can use you.”
Oprah was confused. Of course, people use each other all the time! And Katie said, “What happened? They asked for money and you gave it to them. And then you didn’t want to give them money anymore. You felt bad because you gave them money and went against yourself. You never wanted to give the money in the first place.” Oprah then expressed her concern about saying no. Katie suggested a “high-quality no.” They acted it out.
Oprah: “I want $100,000.”
Katie: “I know you do. But…no.”
Oprah: “But you have so much money! Just give me $100,000. I really want it.”
Katie: “Yes, I know. But I’m going to say no.”
Oprah admitted that she hasn’t always just said no. She’d say things like “I gave you money before and I told you I wouldn’t do it again…etc.”
A high-quality no is just a firm no. No need for defensiveness or a lecture or explanation. Just…no.