spirit, mind, matter

"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end." – Ursula K. Le Guin


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Steadfastness

I subscribe to Heart Advice: Weekly Quotes from Pema Chödrön. You can subscribe by clicking here

The quote from this week:

August 27, 2014
STEADFASTNESS
We’re encouraged to meditate every day, even for a short time, in order to cultivate steadfastness with ourselves. We sit under all kinds of circumstances—whether we are feeling healthy or sick, whether we’re in a good mood or depressed, whether we feel our meditation is going well or is completely falling apart. As we continue to sit we see that meditation isn’t about getting it right or attaining some ideal state. It’s about being able to stay present with ourselves. It becomes increasingly clear that we won’t be free of self-destructive patterns unless we develop a compassionate understanding of what they are.

 

Pema Chödrön in A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation: Practical Advice and Inspiration from Contemporary Buddhist Teachers, page 161

 

This teaching came at the perfect time. I have been mentally wavering in my practice. I still practice yoga and meditation daily however, getting started has been the hard part. I will dilly-dally around, play on the internet, do chores, or do any other stalling technique before surrendering. A minute or two in, I’m always so happy I did it, but something about getting started has been difficult lately. 

This is why this quote resonates with me. I know that sitting and practicing under this current weather system of the mind that I’m experiencing, will continue to teach me how to be compassionate with myself under all circumstances. It also keeps me honest in my practice of both yoga and meditation. 

So today, remain steadfast in your practice and continue to cultivate compassion. 

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Needing Closure

I know I have at least one reader (ahem, Kacey), who remembers that episode of Friends…the one with the closure.  Ever since that episode aired, I remember my friends and I always talking about closure. It morphed from talking about ending relationships into talking about anything. It started being a term that my generation used for ending jobs, moving through different life stages, relationships, and pretty much anything ended up needing some sort of closure.

All of the sudden, it became clear to me that we all tend to keep looking for resolutions and closure to everything. When we live in that belief that we need specific markers to be an “end” to something, we get very attached to goals and the way things should be.  If we don’t get closure or a resolution, we feel uncomfortable!  We have learned that ambiguity is bad and wrong.

Yesterday, I got a quote of the day sent to me from my girl Pema Chodron.  You can click here to learn how to subscribe to her emails.

In her Book, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön, page 54, she writes:

WE DON’T DESERVE RESOLUTION

As human beings, not only do we seek resolution, but we also feel that we deserve resolution. However, not only do we not deserve resolution, we suffer from resolution. We don’t deserve resolution; we deserve something better than that. We deserve our birthright, which is the middle way, an open state of mind that can relax with paradox and ambiguity. To the degree that we’ve been avoiding uncertainty, we’re naturally going to have withdrawal symptoms—withdrawal from always thinking that there’s a problem and that someone, somewhere, needs to fix it.

 

Did you catch that?  We deserve our birthright, which is the middle way, an open state of mind that can relax with paradox and ambiguity.

Did she just suggest RELAXING with paradox and ambiguity?  I’m certain that my conditioning has been to do everything BUT relax with those feelings but if it’s good enough for Pema, it’s good enough for me!  I will try.

Today’s Opportunity for Mindfulness:  Let’s examine our thoughts, beliefs, and feelings to see where we are missing the open state of mind that can relax with paradox and ambiguity.

Namaste