before the mind craves
the moment yet born
before the pain unravels
into rambling story
before a tempered heat
reaches a boil
before the tears dry
and the heart shifts to close
our tendency, our pattern is to avoid our heartbreak, our fear, our discomfort at all costs.
a relationship ends, a job is lost, a loved one becomes ill, the world is spinning out of control and we react. sometimes we grasp at the next person or possible relationship, at every little thing that promises good health. sometimes we attack aggressively to protect ourselves. and sometimes we avoid at all costs, “ignorance is bliss.”
these ways of reacting to what makes us feel uncomfortable in life – grasping, aggression, ignorance (also sometimes called greed, hatred, and delusion) are what we call in Buddhism, the Three Poisons. they perpetuate suffering – the very thing we are desperately trying to avoid in our patterns of reactions. the antidote to these poisons is a broken heart, an open heart. and the only way to give our hearts a shot at being open and opening wider – building its capacity to be with life – is to allow our hearts to break.
ugh, right? who wants to do that? not most of us, which is why we can look around and see ourselves and other hurt people jumping from one relationship to another, see ourselves and other hurt people trying a new fad diet or health claim one after another, see ourselves and other hurt people aggressively attacking “friends” on social media who have opposing views, or even simply wanting social media to return to cat memes and name games, because it has gotten too “political.”
but the truth is, our discomfort will not go away with the next person in our bed, or the loss of a certain number of pounds, or getting that last word in, or turning off the tv/computer and pretending the world isn’t burning. none of these will make a difference if we can’t sit still and allow our discomfort to break open our heart, to open it, to teach us. a broken heart, an open heart allows our love to be free.
Pema Chödrön wrote a book titled, “The Wisdom of No Escape.” I love this little phrase. it is counter intuitive to our habitual pattern of running away, running through, and going to war with ourselves and others.
can we see that we need not go to war? that we are inherently strong enough, courageous enough to not only be with our pain, but to allow our love to heal it?
we must learn to sit with ourselves and our discomfort, gently and compassionately allowing our hearts to break open and our love to flow, if we want to be free. this is our life calling us to awaken.
stay with it…
meditation is a practice
coming back to reality ~
here i am.
taking care of oneself in this reality ~
i feel my body. i feel any tension or pain.
staying open to reality ~
my heart has the capacity to hold
the thing is, around every corner beauty is waiting to be seen,
anxiously calling our attention.
love is calling to be held close and to be given away.
beauty and love.
sometimes they are disguised as the wind dancing through and with the
willing, swaying trees.
sometimes they are disguised as the little ants working together in
purpose or in laughter from a good joke, or the taste of your favorite
food, or the look in your beloved’s eyes.
sometimes they are hidden in struggle and grief, pain and loss.
but they are always present.
can we see the beauty in our broken moments?
can we hold ourselves with love?
sometimes the beauty we find and the love we discover are in how we
respond to life.
we have the capacity of heart to respond to life with openness, with a
spacious quality that allows. love allows.
so we still ourselves.
becoming aware of our breath.
we listen with fresh ears.
we look deeply.
and we stay open.
everything is a miracle, every moment sacred.
it is, it seems to me, the courage to recognize that whether in our joy or suffering, we are One. there is no division, no duality. just One.
it is why i practice Buddhism, it is why i still love the teachings of Jesus who aligned himself with the poor and those who were outcasts. it is why i find the words of the current Pope encouraging.
and when it seems impossible to live this Compassion, to live as One, we can take comfort and encouragement in each other as we practice together.
beautiful friends ~
sometimes there are no quick fixes or bandages to salve wounds that have etched their presence into our lives with such striking suddenness.
sometimes all we can do is sit, remember to breathe, and coax the courage to keep our hearts open.
sometimes it is all we can do to pull forth from the ground below and the sky above, with Life itself as our witness, that most valiant and sacred of mantras ~
I won’t stop loving. I won’t stop loving. I won’t stop loving.
April 15, 2013