Has the rug been pulled out? (again)

orangeI am in a bit of a flare in my healing process. My nervous system got challenged beyond what it was ready for when I attempted Bikram yoga. No, not all yoga is alike, and Bikram, I discovered is the military boot camp style of yogas, oh my. That is another story, but take it as a cautionary tale. Even yoga, done inappropriately for your body’s needs can be more than you might want to do. That said, I was careful, didn’t feel I’d over-done it and left after only half an hour from a 90 minute class. I was not reckless. Sometimes even when we do our best to be careful we find that shit happens. So here I am in the middle of a learning curve feeling rather uncomfortable. I’m okay with it, this time, really. It’s interesting to watch. And I know that generally it’s getting better all the time.

Still, having found myself here, once again challenged in some big ways, I find that how I choose to go through the experience really changes the experience. I am very much doing as Pema suggests below.

When things fall apart and we’re on the verge of we know not what, the test for each of us is to stay on that brink and not concretize. The spiritual journey is not about heaven and finally getting to a place that’s really swell. In fact, that way of looking at things is what keeps us miserable. Thinking that we can find some lasting pleasure and avoid pain is what in Buddhism is called samsara, a hopeless cycle that goes round and round endlessly and causes us to suffer greatly.

The very first noble truth of the Buddha points out that suffering is inevitable for human beings as long as we believe that things last—that they don’t disintegrate, that they can be counted on to satisfy our hunger for security. From this point of view, the only time we ever know what’s really going on is when the rug’s been pulled out and we can’t find anywhere to land. We use these situations either to wake ourselves up or to put ourselves to sleep. Right now—in the very instant of groundlessness—is the seed of taking care of those who need our care and of discovering our goodness. — Pema Chodron, from Buddha’s Daughters

More Pema Chodron on Beyond Meds


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