If I had to summarize the entirety
of most people’s
lives in a few words,
it would be endless resistance to what is.
As we resist, we are in constant motion
trying to adjust,
and yet we still remain unhappy about what is.

If I had to summarize the entirety of an enlightened
person’s life in a few words,
it would be complete acceptance of what is.
As we accept what is, our minds are relaxed
and composed
while the world changes rapidly around us.


When you lower yourself, the world elevates you.
When you elevate yourself, the world lowers you.
When you arrive at the peak of enlightenment,
you will understand:
Your peak is the same height as your neighbor’s.
At the peak, you see everyone’s holiness.


For spiritual practitioners,
relationships are the final test.
Even if you have awakened to your enlightened nature,
there is still further to go in your spiritual journey
if you’re not living harmoniously with others.

From The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: How to Be Calm and Mindful in a Fast-Paced World, © 2012 by Haemin Sunim. English translation © 2017 by Chi-Young Kim and Haemin Sunim. Reprinted with permission of Penguin Books. 

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