June 15, 2020
Too many people are ‘uncooked’ and somewhat ‘raw’ needlessly. I’m thankful for bad-tasting medicine, because it helps me feel better. I’m thankful for waking up to alarm clocks, because it means I’m still alive.” It then dawned on the mother, that she had a lot of things to be thankful for! She thought again… She had to pay taxes but that meant she was fortunate to be employed. She had house-work to do but that meant she had a shelter to live in. She had to cook for her many family members for lunch but that meant she had a family with whom she could celebrate. Moral: We generally complain about the negative things in life but we fail to look at the positive side of it.
What is the positive in your negatives? Look at the better part of life today and make your everyday a great day. Be happy and blessed always. The past is history, so let it go. The future is a mystery, so let it come. The present is a gift – be truly in the present today and release all your fears (based on the past) and your worries (imagined futures) – this is the work of someone who truly wants to awaken, and break free from the anchors and burdens of dead yesterdays and speculative tomorrows.
We need to strengthen our unawareness. We can’t experience awakening without experiencing not awakening. We can’t experience insight without becoming intimately familiar with our conditioned patterns. Thus, even in my imperfections, even in my failures, I can still incline my heart toward freedom. This is how I see the paths of awakening and non-awakening interweaving. This is freedom in the midst of suffering. This is resilience despite the forces of violence and oppression.
Each time we practice awareness and kindness, we transform not only our personal world but the world itself. We begin to be able to hold the un-holdable, to connect the broken heart and the raging mind. We look for the precious wisdom embedded within that bitter rage, and as soon as we begin to look, we are no longer consumed by the rage itself. We turn toward the direct experience of despair and weave it into care, love, and, dare we say, freedom. This is the magnitude of our spiritual practice. It asks us to include all the contradictions and paradoxes of awakening and not awakening and everything in between. It is the in-between—the range from extreme to subtle, the spectrum connecting opposing forces—that constitutes the totality of our lives, our practice, and our freedom.