I have a personal koan.*

“How do we live a life we can’t hold on to?” How do we live with the fact that the moment we’re born we move closer to death; when we fall in love we sign up for grief? How do we reconcile that gain always ends in loss; gathering, in separation?

I don’t know if my question will ever find an answer. But I see it as a question to live by. I’ve always felt that if you have a genuine question you should explore it. All you have to do is continue to ask it and pay attention. – Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel, The Power of an Open Question *In the Zen Buddhist tradition a koan is a paradoxical story, statement, question, or dialogue that is inaccessible to conventional thought. The practitioner uses the koan as a starting point for meditative inquiry. By focusing on a single question he or she seeks a way of being that transcends ordinary answers or solutions. This transcendence is similar to the mind of an open question: a mind that is engaged yet does not search for security or conclusions.

Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel’s Tricycle Retreat starts in 12 days on Tricycle.com! Join the Tricycle Community to enjoy the retreat and get her book at 30% off.