“There is a very Simple Secret to being happy. Just let go of your ‘demand’ on this moment. Any time you have a demand on the moment to give you something or remove something, there is suffering. You’re Arguing with ‘What Is’ – Your demands keep you chained to the ‘dream-state’ of the conditioned mind. The desire to ‘control’… is, ultimately, our unwillingness to just be awake.”
“Spiritual awakening happens when you stop bullshitting yourself into continual non-awakening. It’s very easy to use disciplines to avoid reality rather than to encounter it. A true spirituality will have you continually facing your illusions and all the ways you avoid reality. Spiritual practice may be an important means of confronting yourself, or it may be a means of avoiding yourself; it all depends on your attitude and intention.”
“WE ALREADY HAVE everything we need. There is no need for self-improvement. All these trips that we lay on ourselves—the heavy-duty fearing that we’re bad and hoping that we’re good, the identities that we so dearly cling to, the rage, the jealousy and the addictions of all kinds—never touch our basic wealth. They are like clouds that temporarily block the sun. But all the time our warmth and brilliance are right here. This is who we really are. We are one blink of an eye away from being fully awake.”
― Pema Chödrön
This hurts…terribly. Being pierced in the heart. Cracking open. Raw vulnerability. Dying a slow death. Being pruned time and time again.
Pema Chödrön describes a time in her life when she had the following quote pinned to her wall, “Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.” She shares that even before she heard of Buddhist teachings she knew this to be the spirit of true awakening.
When you’re suffering it can be so paralyzing that you wonder if you will ever have a chance for happiness. Change has a way of seeping into our lives whether we’re ready or not.
Chödrön depicts it as “Letting ourselves be nailed to the present moment.” This has been my experience…and it has left me with two possibilities either to let it harden me or to walk through the portal towards self-compassion. What happens next is a good question. That is where the strength of trust kicks in…it is the difference between being alive and living.