July 10, 2008 2:30 PM
( The following to be read carefully and slowly. – jarboe) Pema Chodron : ” We might even use meditation to try to escape from the more awkward, unpleasant, and penetrating aspects of being alive. Someone has just shot an arrow or raised a sword, and instead of allowing it to change into a flower, we run, trying to escape in all kinds of ways. There are, of course, endless ways of seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. However, we don’t have to consider seeking pleasure as an obstacle. Rather, seeking pleasure is an opportunity to observe what we do in the face of pain. Instead of trying to avoid our uneasiness and off-centeredness by running away, we could begin to open out hearts to the human dilemma that causes so much misery in this world. We could realize that the way to turn this devaputra arrow into a flower is to open our hearts and look at how we try to escape. With enormous gentleness and clarity, we could look at how weak we are. In this way we can discover that what seems to be ugly is in fact the source of wisdom and a way for us to reconnect with our basic wisdom mind.”
– When Things Fall Apart : Heart Advice for Difficult Times Pema Chodron is an American Buddhist nun. She is a resident teacher at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia. It is is the first Tibetan monastery in North America established for Westerners.