Pema Chodron is a prophet of bearing with the pain.

She suggests there is nothing from which we need to flee. Everything can be borne. We can learn from every circumstance that comes into our life.

Here is advice from Pema Chodron for bearing with the inevitable pain and uncertainty of life:

Chodron, Pema. Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times. Boston: Shambhala, 2000.

sign on office wall – “Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.” 7

To stay with the shakiness – to stay with a broken heart, with a rumbling stomach, with the feeling of hopelessness and wanting to get revenge – that is the spiritual path. 10

Each day, we’re given many opportunities to open up or shut down. 12

all addictions stem from this moment when we meet our edge and we just can’t stand it. 13

When we reach our limit, if we aspire to know that place fully – which is to say that we aspire to neither indulge nor repress – a hardness in us will dissolve. 15

the point is to lean toward the discomfort of life and see it clearly rather than to protect ourselves from it. 17

The way to dissolve our resistance to life is to meet it face to face. 30

Cutting our expectations for a cure is a gift we can give ourselves. 30

reframing – It’s the quality of not grabbing for entertainment the minute we feel a slight edge of boredom coming on. It’s the practice of not immediately filling up space just because there’s a gap. 33

If we’re willing to give up hope that insecurity and pain can be exterminated then we can have the courage to relax with the groundlessness of our situation. 42

Having a relationship with death in everyday life means that we begin to be able to wait, to relax with insecurity, with panic, with embarrassment, with things not working out. As the years go on, we don’t call the babysitter quite so fast. 43,44

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. 54

Maybe the only enemy is that we don’t like the way reality is now and therefore wish it would go away fast. But what we find as practitioners is that nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. 66

Seeking security or perfection, rejoicing in feeling confirmed and whole, self-contained and comfortable is some kind of death. It doesn’t have any fresh air. There’s no room for something to come in and disrupt all that. We are killing the moment by controlling our experience. Doing this is setting ourselves up for failure, because sooner or later, we’re going to have an experience we can’t control. 71

Only in an open, nonjudgmental space can we acknowledge what we are feeling. Only in an open space where we’re not all caught up in our own version of reality can we see and hear and feel who others really are, which allows us to be with them and communicate with them properly. 79

The next time there’s no ground to stand on, don’t consider it an obstacle. Consider it a remarkable stroke of luck. We have no ground to stand on, and at the same time it could soften us and inspire us. 117

our practice is not about accomplishing anything – not about winning or losing – but about ceasing to struggle and relaxing as it is. 122

Maybe the most important thing is to lighten up and relax. It’s such a huge help in working with our crazy mixed-up minds to remember that what we’re doing is unlocking a softness that is in us and letting it spread. 140

the source of wisdom is whatever is happening to us right at this very instant. 144

This is our choice in every moment. Do we relate to our circumstances with bitterness or with openness? 146

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