The Path To Bodhichitta

You start where you are, the practice will meet you there.

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Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Friday, January 23, 2009

It's A Dark Night Again and I Can't Find My Flashlight

Basically the challenge is to be genuine - to feel our pounding heart or shaking knees or whatever it is - and stick with it. In a nutshell, very few of us ever allow ourselves to be in a situation that doesn't have at least a teensy-weensy little exit, a place where we can get out if we have to.

So observed Pema Chodron in When Things Fall Apart.

Two days ago, The Thinker painted me a picture. In that picture, I was a person who has always sought out life's highways. Always chosen what was most convenient, rather than what was right for me. The Seer had told me this before, but at a time when I was not ready to hear it. The Thinker was harder on me. He asked the brutal questions to which I didn't yet have answers. And yesterday, I made the decision to abandon the highway and walk (or crawl?) on the road less travelled.

This is the scariest place I have ever been. My heart is pounding, my knees are shaking and I keep falling apart just when I think I've got it together. And it's only the beginning! Sigh. Part of me berates myself for taking on this foolish act of terror-stricken bravery. But the other part says to have faith that only good can come from this. Because although my mind and heart shouts 'No!', the voice within whispers a quiet 'yes'. And I have learnt to listen to that voice.

Don't be fooled into believing that I'm approaching all this with Yoda-like serenity. I feel like Scooby Doo more than anything else.

The Pole Dancer used to say "when you have come to the edge of all light that you know and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or you will learn to fly."

If I had it my way, there would be a bungee cord attached to my foot so I can pop rght back up. But so be it.

To both The Seer and The Thinker, thank you. You know what I want, what I need and the difference between the two. It hurts and I'm scared to death, but I acknowledge and I accept.

We don't experience the world fully unless we are willing to give something away. Samaya means not holding anything back, not preparing our escape route, not looking for alternatives, not thinking there is ample time to do things later. When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chodron


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