December 20, 2012

How to Make a Friend for Life

It is so helpful for me to have this place to study meditation. How glad I am that I need not fight non-belief in God, in order to do this healing practice. 

In following a great leader, Pema Chodron,  I've explored how to "apply" the qualities of precision, as well as gentleness and openness, in accepting myself, at last. 

Mindfulness meditation helps me Look for the Good in what I already possess: my wisdom, brilliance, and sanity.  

At times each of us tends to focus on our obstacles, instead.   We yearn to know how exactly we got stuck, again. Sometimes we beat ourselves up for being stuck. 

When I get snared in restriction, I need only remind myself to be whole-hearted and unflinchingly honest about what exists in my mind. And everything else that I consider to be me: my thoughts, emotions and body sense.   I get to sort out what I will accept and reject, knowing that rejection has its price: it keeps me going around and around in some kind of repetitive misery.

 It may help to see these as opposites of the same coin;  inspiration or well-being is side by side with burden (or suffering).   I have a choice. I can experience life as full of possibility or that it is restricting. Please, in meditation, be as honest and warm-hearted as you can. Just let yourself gradually discover how you hold on and hold back.  Again, use meditation to simply observe these tendencies to suffer. 

Pema encourages us to see that are never going to leave our "refuse" behind us.  It is a smelly mixture of stuff, that is us. The good and the bad all interpenetrates, so that it is hard to separate our neuroses from our wisdom.

Our practice of meditation allows us to know our life force, more and more completely, and to help us figure out what is poison for us and what is medicine. We are different in this regard, for example some can drink coffee all day with no ill effects and some might become a nervous wreck on a small teaspoonful.  Only we know what awakens us and what puts us to sleep. 

We are making a friend for life, with ourselves and our world. We befriend  the good and the bad, because it all has something to teach us. Trust yourself to be a decent, basically good person and that you can sort out what to accept and what to reject. Only we can discern what will make us complete, serene, grown up... or what will keep us children for ever.  


  1. I have been enjoying reading your posts on mediation Smitty. I too think it is so important to make friends with ourselves. who else to we spend forever with? "refuse" and all!

  2. Marcia, I hope you will find the rest of the work helpful as well. I am just about a third done. I read this work a few years ago, and by writing it out in program terms I hope to "keep" it.

    To keep anything of value, I realize we really do have to "give it away" like we say in program....


I welcome your thoughts. Keep me honest~