Our relationships can be more trustworthy when we learn to address our differences, even though it can be awkward or stressful until we learn how. A conversation that attempts to acknowledge and affirm difference, even when we can’t negotiate it away, flatten it, or get rid of it, is a firm stepping-stone toward more freedom and trust in all relationships.  

From The Zen of You and Me: A Guide for Getting Along with Just About Anyone, by Diane Musho Hamilton © 2017. Reprinted with permission of Shambhala Publications. shambhala.com. Diane Musho Hamilton is a mediator and Zen teacher who received transmission from Genpo Merzel Roshi.



There is an old Chinese saying, “Write your sorrows in sand and etch your joys in stone.” It is an invitation to us to reverse the corrosive pattern that inclines us to write our joys in sand, easily forgotten, and to etch our sorrows in stone. Mindfulness teaches us to reclaim our capacity for appreciation. We learn to cultivate many moments when we pause, step out of our busyness and our stories, and truly see what is before us, to listen wholeheartedly, to be touched, and to make room for joy. We sit in meditation, caring for what is broken and difficult in our bodies and minds, and learn to give equal attention to all that is well. We learn to notice the moments in our day when our hearts are not governed by agitation or clinging. Brushing our teeth, we simply brush our teeth. We bring a singular attention to eating, to walking, to feeling the touch of the breeze on our cheek, and we sense the ease, the sense of appreciative joy, in those moments. Rather than glossing over the small acts of generosity we offer, the small words of gratitude and kindness we speak, and the gestures of care we engage in, we learn to honor and celebrate those moments, discovering a taste of joy.

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