Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Warrior

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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