I was reading When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron and she writes, “We are killing the moment by controlling our experience. Doing this is setting ourselves up for failure, because sooner or later, we’re going to have an experience we can’t control: our house is going to burn down, someone we love is going to die, we’re going to find out we have cancer, a brick is going to fall out of the sky and hit us on the head, somebody’s going to spill tomato juice all over our white suit, or we’re going to arrive at our favourite restaurant and discover that no one ordered produce and seven hundred people are coming for lunch. The essence of life is that it’s challenging. Sometimes it is sweet, and sometimes it is bitter. Sometimes your body tenses, and sometimes it relaxes or opens. Sometimes you have a headache, and sometimes you feel 100 per cent healthy. From an awakened perspective, trying to tie up all the loose ends and finally get it together is death, because it involves rejecting a lot of your basic experience. There is something aggressive about that approach to life, trying to flatten out all the rough spots and imperfections into a nice smooth ride. To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in no-man’s-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again. From the awakened point of view, that’s life.” Continue reading
I was listening to CBS Sunday Morning yesterday and heard a lovely story. Delia Ephron and her sister Nora Ephron co-wrote the 1998 romantic comedy movie You’ve Got Mail. Delia’s sister Nora and Delia’s husband Jerry both passed away of cancer in 2012 and 2015. Nora died of leukemia, so Delia went to the hospital every six months to evaluate her blood to ensure she was healthy. After her husband passed, she missed him so much and she wrote an article in the paper about how hard it was to disconnect his landline. Then she got mail. Continue reading
Poet Mary Oliver wrote:
I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?
Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?
Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,
Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
Finally, I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
I am reading When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron. In it she writes, “On the night on which he was to attain enlightenment, the Buddha sat under a tree. While he was sitting there, he was attacked by the forces of Mara. The story goes that they shot swords and arrows at him, and that their weapons turned into flowers. What does this story mean? My understanding of it is that what we habitually regard as obstacles are not really our enemies, but rather our friends. What we call obstacles are really the way the world and our entire experience teach us where we’re stuck. What may appear to be an arrow or a sword we can actually experience as a flower. Whether we experience what happens to us as obstacle and enemy or as teacher and friend depends entirely on our perception of reality. It depends on our relationship with ourselves.” Continue reading