Wednesday, December 27, 2006


I'm reading When Things Fall Apart, by Pema Chodron, for the fifth time. Like any great book, every read brings new discoveries, insights, lessons to be learned. I let go of Buddhism, for a good long time, and now I'm finding it again, or perhaps, it's finding me. This particular book has been a guide for me through challenging times, and once again, Pema's words and advice resonate deep within me. I am ever grateful for such teachers.

Life is a good teacher and a good friend. Things are always in transition, if we could only realize it. Nothing ever sums itself up in the way that we like to dream about. The off-center, in-between state is an ideal situation, a situation in which we don't get caught and we can open our hearts and minds beyond limit. It's a very tender, non-aggressive, open-ended state of affairs.

To stay with that shakiness--to stay with a broken heart, with a rumbling stomach, with the feeling of hopelessness and wanting to get revenge--that is the path of true awakening. Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxation in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic--this is the spiritual path. Getting the knack of catching ourselves, of gently and compassionately catching ourselves, is the path of the warrior. Pema Chodron

Am I going to practice peace, or am I going to war?

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