I was sitting in meditation earlier today
and it occurred to me
that the self of my future
won’t suffer from my current problems,
because I will have outgrown them.
But then I realized, I’ll have new problems.
I wondered what my new problems will be
when I’ve outgrown my current ones.
And then I realized I’m looking forward
to the different problems I’ll have
when I’ve outgrown my current ones.
Well…time to start growing faster!
Time to start growing better!
Time to start growing more intentionally,
and productively and strategically and—
I can’t control how I grow?
I guess I’ll just take a deep breath,
and rest in gratitude for what is here now.
Back home after being out of town with the kids for a few days,
and I’m confronted with the reality of my disorganized house
and the clutter of travel. I look back on the last few days
and my mind immediately focuses on what I could’ve done better.
I hope my kids have some happy memories from our time away.
I hope my mind can cut me some slack and allow me to rest tonight.
The kids are with their dad now, and I’ll have some blessed time to…
and LOVE this moment.
Whew. What a relief.
The resistance rises up.
Wanting to be more energized, less tired.
Wanting to feel more confident, less worried.
Wanting to feel more supported, less alone.
Wanting to feel more peaceful, less stressed.
On the heels of the resistance, stories…
Stories about injustice, mistreatment,
a wish for vindication, retribution.
I can feel my body contract.
I know this thinking isn’t healthy
and I feel powerless to stop it.
I know I need to pray,
and even this evokes anger
and the question
Why do I have to try so hard?
I guess I haven’t really surrendered yet.
I guess I’m still trying to control the moment.
I want to let go.
Lord God, show me how to let go.
Oh weary traveler,
when the road of Life
has you exhausted
and you think
you can’t take another step,
there is a refuge for you,
a place you can go
where there is always room for you,
a sanctuary where you will be
greeted with open arms
and the warmest hospitality.
The refuge is your own heart.
The sanctuary is the inexhaustible
well of peace found within the purest,
most sacred chamber of your heart.
Enter the refuge, weary one,
Find the sanctuary.
Come and sit a while.
Close your eyes.
There now, that’s better.
In moments of challenge
we always have a choice.
Training in awareness
we can look inside our minds
and discover the space
between reactivity and responsiveness.
Instead of asking
in that whiny little voice
Why is this happening?
Stand up, take a deep breath
and ask yourself
What do I want?
Discover the space within you
to ask the questions
and to wait for the answers
that feel right.
Now, more than ever,
this world needs us to
question, decide, and respond.
Search for the choice
inside each challenge,
the opportunity in each setback.
As you walk this path
of awakened consciousness
you can be sure the world
glows brighter in your presence.
I want him to understand me.
Do I understand myself?
Do I understand him?
I want him to hear me.
Do I hear myself?
Do I hear him?
I want him to see me.
Do I see myself?
Do I see him?
a story of unmet needs
and doomed relationship.
If I can take a step back
and look in objectively,
there isn’t a problem.
Just two tired people
trying to make a shared life
raising young children
May I apply the balm of compassion.
May I remember what is true.
May I do the work inside,
and be the one I’ve been waiting for–
the one who understands, hears,
and sees me as I really am.
When I come to this place
of genuine self love,
I’ll stop asking
if I’m with the right person.
When I’m right with myself,
is alright with me.
Even though I was up early,
two kittens and a sleepy husband
started my day off with mayhem.
I wanted to sit first,
woke him up as I tried
to evict the cats from the room,
as he awoke he asked why I wanted to sit now–
he thought I should wait…
and this opened up a can of worms.
After five years of maintaining my daily practice,
I’m still wanting his support and understanding,
and he is still not giving it in the way I had hoped.
And this is part of my practice
and part of learning how to be in a marriage, I guess.
This is what I tell myself anyway.
At times like this I dream
of living in a community of like-minded practitioners,
but is this what will help me grow?
I must need to develop more conviction
because my husband is giving me an opportunity
to stand my ground and maintain my practice
even in the face of opposition.
Welcome your teachers,
especially the ones whom you’d rather avoid.
That old story about being comfortable,
about staying clear of difficult people–
set it aside for a moment,
and look into the great mirror of being.
Do you need to have others agree with you
to feel confident about your own thinking?
Does everyone have to look the same as you
for you to feel comfortable in your own skin?
Turn and move closer to the disagreeable people.
They have much to teach you
if only you can be willing to listen.
When you sit
and finally find stillness,
finally find quiet…
What keeps moving?
What keeps making noise?
Who are you,
and what is this world to you?
When you can stop struggling
to mold Self and World
as you think they should be,
now you have a workable place,
a softer place
a place of openness and vulnerability
in which to stand
and really see things as they are.
Let all setbacks and challenges
be your teachers.
Let them reveal to you
the strength, the resourcefulness
that have lain dormant in you,
waiting for a chink in the armor
that they might break free
and bud and burst and blossom
with the power in you,
the power of light shining
into the darkness of ignorance and despair.
Be grateful for these opportunities
Without some good, clean, honest challenges
we would be so out of touch
with the world,
and our words about love and peace
would mean nothing!
Trust that all you behold
is a manifestation of wisdom
so ancient, so deep,
that this logical mind of yours
could never assign it any proper words,
no words to describe this.
And we are not asked to describe this wisdom,
why try to describe the light of the sun?
Just stand in it and be warmed.
Simply trust, trust.
Breathe and trust.
Breathe and trust…
and all the universe cradles you
in the kindest embrace,
dancing as it holds you,
Make daily life your practice.
It will offer you countless opportunities to awaken.
Every mini crisis,
Any annoyance, large or small,
the little resentments,
the stress, the loss, the anxiety…
And also the little joys,
moments of pleasure,
all of these human experiences
show up on your path
exactly when you need them to,
so that you may gain
the tools of awareness
needed to awaken to your true nature.
Just recognize what is happening–
the reactivity and the presence,
the happiness and the sorrow.
Just see it, and then breathe it in
for yourself and everyone.
Breathe out pure light,
Every breath is a blessing for the world.