21 April 2011

"..it's as if you just looked at yourself in the mirror, and you saw a gorilla. the mirror's there; it's showing you, and what you see looks bad. you try to angle the mirror so you will look a little better, but no matter what you do, you still look like a gorilla. that's being nailed by life, the place where you have no choice except to embrace what's happening or push it away.

most of s do not take these situations as teachings. we automatically hate them. we run like crazy. we use all kinds of ways to escape - all addictions stem from this moment when we meet our edge and we just can't stand it. we feel we have to soften it, pad it with something, and we become addicted to whatever it is that seems to ease the pain. in fact, the rampant materialism that we see in the world stems from this moment. there are so many ways that have been dreamt up to entertain us away from the moment, soften its hard edge, deaden it so we don't have to feel the full impact of the pain that arises when we cannot change the situation to make us come out looking fine.

meditation is an invitation to notice when we reach our limit and to not get carried away by hope and fear. through meditation, we're able to see clearly what's going on with our thoughts and emotions, and we can also let them go. what's encouraging about meditation is that even if we shut down, we can no longer shut down in ignorance. we see very clearly that we're closing off. that in itself begins to illuminate the darkness of ignorance. we're able to see how we run and hide and keep ourselves busy so that we never have to let our hearts be penetrated. and we're also able to see how we could open and relax."

/ beautiful and relevant excerpt from the chapter "this very moment is the perfect teacher" from the buddhist book 'when things fall apart: heart advice for difficult times' by pema chodron, 1997