November 15, 2012

The Power of Everyday Satisfaction

In this talk, Pema starts with a simple premise: "Doing everyday things--working, bathing, etc--is all that we need to be fully awake, fully alive, fully human."

 She wants us to recognize,  "we have at this very moment, all that we need to be fully awake, and fully alive." 

Imagine, we already have all that we need for our recipe in leading a completely fulfilling life.  When I focus this on my recovery in Emotions Anonymous, I might put it this way, "all the emotions we have right now, the negative and the positive 'are what we need.'" 

What stands in the way of enlightenment is "resentment, or feeling cheated, holding a grudge about who you are, where you are, what you are."  Resentment denies us the ability to be friends with ourselves.

"Being satisfied with what we already have is a magic golden key to being alive in a full way."  Isn't that how a gratitude practice works?  

I appreciate Pema's words becoming true for me.  Meditation has become a path for lightening up on myself, trusting the basic goodness of what I am and what I have. With practice I am experiencing that the wisdom that I need is contained in what I already have.'

But it starts out messy. And we never rid ourselves of the original "problem" in being human.

In program terms, the wisdom we are devoting ourselves to in the Serenity Prayer, starts out as being thoroughly mixed up with neuroses.  That means there's no chance of getting rid of our negative characteristics, what some of us label as craziness or illness, or simply confusion, without also getting rid of our intrinsic loveliness and worth.

"Extreme wisdom" is possible as we get to know ourselves just as we are. Meditation allows us to explore "all of creation in the form of ourselves."  In such process, we become our best expert on anger, jealousy and unworthiness, as well as our joy and insight.  

I love that Chodron describes the path as one that is full of wonder, the kind of wonder we experience in being a two or three year old, beginning to question everything. These questions are not for acquisition of information, they are about the passion and hunger for life. It is about questioning for its own sake.

So, the most fruitful practice is to simply be awake and curious about ourselves. Lovingkindness is a practice of positive self-regard that allows us to develop our sense of satisfaction in who we are.  

My mom mistakenly told me this was selfish. Ironically, she thought I was seeking accused me of exactly what Pema cautions against: "seek[ing] all the goodies for myself."   But the journey of making friends with ourselves need never be selfish. 

Step Twelve, is the process of sharing the lovingkindness we cultivate with ourselves, which helps us develop lovingkindness for other people.  We don't keep the "goodies" to ourselves. We share our discoveries as part of a Sangha, a spiritual fellowship.

Ch 2.

1 comment:

  1. I agree, the journey of making friends with ourselves need never be selfish. We spend more time with ourselves than anyone else!


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