Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The nature of things

One of the most common forms of suffering is the tendency most of us have to get in contests with ourselves. This often occurs when a person really wants to do something but another part of that person actually doesn't want to do the same thing. So resistence kicks in. We also experience resistence when the way things are is not the way we want them to be. Here's something meditation teacher Pema Chödrön has said about this dynamic:

The way to dissolve our resistance to life is to meet it face to face. When we feel resentment because the room is too hot, we could meet the heat and feel its fieriness and its heaviness. When we feel resentment because the room is too cold, we could meet the cold and feel its iciness and its bite. When we want to complain about the rain, we could feel its wetness instead. When we worry because the wind is shaking our windows, we could meet the wind and hear its sound. Cutting our expectations for a cure is a gift we can give ourselves. There is no cure for hot and cold. They will go on forever. After we have died, the ebb and flow will still continue. Like the tides of the sea, like day and night - this is the nature of things.

~Pema Chödrön


  1. After seeing Roberta's comment, I had to come and find Pema's quote. It goes so well with a book study I am facilitating that I copied it and emailed it to some of the members--we're reading Gerald May's "An Awakened Heart." Control/expectations -- big issue.

  2. Yes, Jan. I felt very fortunate to find it. I used it in teaching my ongoing meditation class tonight.

    Gerald May's works are quite wonderful, aren't they?


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