“It’s a fairy tale to think that once we have attained deep faith, or have had some great enlightenment experience, our whole life will be one joyous delight after another and all sadness will be swept away, so that all we can see is paradise. Living a life of true reality, experiencing an ongoing restlessness with alternate moments of joy and sadness, there has to be a settling into one’s life in a much deeper place, where you face whatever comes up. Likewise, true religious teaching is not a denial or our day-to-day predicaments; it is not cleverly glossing over reality, or feigning happiness. On the contrary, true religious teaching has to be able to show us how we can swim through one wave at a time–that is, those waves of laughter, tears, prosperity, or adversity.”

–Kosho Uchiyama Roshi, in an essay he wrote in the late 1960s on his life as a Zen beggar, republished in the Spring 2006 issue of Buddhadharma.

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