When I spotted Pema Chodron’s “The Wisdom of No Escape” at the local library in December, I decided it would serve me well to study her words as if my life depended on it.
I felt that my own personal goals could be re-evaluated following my recent relapse, which was neither pain-free nor comfortable.
So her words ring true for me: "If we are committed to comfort at any cost, as soon as come up against the least edge of pain, we're going to run; we'll never find the freedom to know what lies beyond that [discomfort, or] that barrier or the thing which we fear."
How much kinder and joyful and interesting would my life be, were I to develop curiosity towards my life, without trying so hard to make it pain-free?
In order to find out, I have decided to make a specific commitment to a meditation practice (one day at a time) during these first two months of 2011. I decided not to attach a goal of comfort to this practice. Nor do I want to find myself believing that, at last, I have found the one practice that is going to make me whole, forevermore. So I am allowing myself try out more than one meditation approach.
I have other things I “don’t” want. I don’t want to find myself judging my practice on bad days, aware of my limitations, hearing myself think, "If I could meditate and calm down I would be able to be super-Smitty!" Nor do I want to hear myself mutter, “If only I were not depressed.” Or “If only I had someone to share this practice with!” Each “if only” is just another way to find my meditation practice lacking. I don't want to find myself a month from now with the same conditional thinking that got me here, still believing I am a person who is constitutionally unable to meditate.