Recording and Listening Blog

March 1, 2024

I find myself internally reciting the Short Recitation many times a day. For those not familiar with the recitation, it goes like this:

We are here to end suffering.

If ending suffering is more important than anything, we will end suffering.

If ending suffering is not more important than anything, we will not end suffering.

If I am suffering, it is because I am choosing something over ending suffering.

We are not here to create and cling to beliefs.

We are here to pay attention.

We are here to use everything in our experience to see how we cause ourselves to suffer so we can drop that and end suffering.

Recently, a friend was driving home with me after an outpatient surgery a couple of hours away. Settling into the long drive, what a surprise when a large male deer leapt in front of the van. We collided with the buck, demolishing the front of the vehicle and sadly breaking the beautiful creature's legs.

We are here to end suffering, if ending suffering is more important than anything, we will end suffering.

We don't have to like something, we just need to be with it.

A car arrives; it is a woman who is a volunteer for the fire department. She calls the sheriff.

Be with it. What now, Life?

Call AAA. Woman on the phone is kind.

Sheriff arrives; he ends the deer’s suffering.

Here, in humble submission, in order to experience this most perfect now, I deeply bow and sacrifice all thoughts, all tensions, all pressures and desires.

A passerby pulls over; he will take the deceased animal and harvest the meat for the underprivileged.

I don’t know. Not my will, but thy will.

Waiting in frigid temps for the tow truck.

Surrendering all tensions and desires.

Noticing irritation with how my friend is being, reading news on their phone.

I am not here to cling to beliefs, I am here to pay attention.

Tow truck arrives. Sitting in the damaged vehicle, being towed in a snowstorm, a friend offers extra layers of warmth and an apple.

In the practice of lovingkindness, in the practice of pure attention, in the practice of ever expanding faith, in the practice of constant devotion.

As the nervous system settles, awareness expands to the body as it shivers and tightness sets in.

This too will pass; it’s all ok. 

Thanking the tow truck driver for getting us home safely, entering a warm house with food in the refrigerator, bathtub awaiting, attention is aware of deep gratitude.   

Sitting down with a warm cup of tea and recorder is a part of the evening ritual. I talk about experiences from the day, like I would to a best friend. Listening back, it's enlivening to hear both how Life informs and practitioner responds. It reminds me of Kanno Doko, call and response, the Mother Hen who guides the baby chick to discover the Love that they are.

These end-of-day recordings are a fabulous reminder of how well Life cares for. This folder of recordings is titled “Life’s Miraculous Unfolding.”


Do you have a favorite R/L insight, idea, or practice tool? We’d love to hear it! Send us your favorite quick tip (75 words or less) or submit your idea for a blog post.