“Life is a good teacher and a good friend. Things are always in transition, if we could only realize it. Nothing ever sums itself up in the way that we like to dream about.
…To stay with that shakiness — to stay with a broken heart, with a rumbling stomach, with the feeling of hopelessness and wanting to get revenge — that is the path of true awakening. Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic — this is the spiritual path. Getting the knack of catching ourselves, of gently and compassionately catching ourselves, is the path of the warrior. We catch ourselves one zillion times as once again, whether we like it or not, we harden into resentment, bitterness, righteous indignation — harden in any way, even into a sense of relief, a sense of inspiration.”
~ Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart Heart Advice for Difficult Times
In her book, Awakening Loving-Kindness, Pema Chodron offers us a wonderful story about the illusions of heaven and hell:
“There’s another story that you may have read that has to do with what we call heaven and hell, life and death, good and bad. It’s a story about how those things don’t really exist except as a creation of our own minds. It goes like this: A big burly samurai comes to the wise man and says, “Tell me the nature of heaven and hell.” And the roshi looks him in the face and says: “Why should I tell a scruffy, disgusting, miserable slob like you?”
The samurai starts to get purple in the face, his hair starts to stand up, but the roshi won’t stop, he keeps saying, “A miserable worm like you, do you think I should tell you anything?” Consumed by rage, the samurai draws his sword, and he’s just about to cut off the head of the roshi. Then the roshi says, “That’s hell.”
The samurai, who is in fact a sensitive person, instantly gets it, that he just created his own hell; he was deep in hell. It was black and hot, filled with hatred, self-protection, anger, and resentment, so much so that he was going to kill this man. Tears fill his eyes and he starts to cry and he puts his palms together and the roshi says, “That’s heaven.” “
An idea to ponder today from one of my favorite authors and spiritual teachers…
“I can’t overestimate the importance of accepting ourselves
exactly as we are right now, not as we wish we were, or think we ought to be.
By cultivating nonjudgmental openness to ourselves and to whatever arises,
to our surprise and delight we will find ourselves genuinely welcoming
the never-pin-downable quality of life, experiencing it as a friend, a teacher,
and a support, and no longer as an enemy.”
Each week I receive Heart Advice emails from Pema Chodron. Pema is wise, humble and quite funny in a dry Buddhist kind of way. She is one of my all-time favorite spiritual teachers. This week’s Heart Advice is so good that I wanted to share it with all of you.
Sometimes the most profound advice is quite simple:
A BRIEF PRACTICE FOR GROUNDING
“First, come into the present. Flash on what’s happening with you right now.
Be fully aware of your body, its energetic quality.
Be aware of your thoughts and emotions.
Next, feel your heart, literally placing your hand on your chest if you find that helpful.
This is a way of accepting yourself just as you are in that moment,
a way of saying, “This is my experience right now, and it’s okay.”
But, why is the sky so blue?? Why not red or purple or green? Am I the only one who wonders about this? Apparently not. 🙂 NASA scientists share the scientific reason for our brilliant blue sky below:
“It is easy to see that the sky is blue. Have you ever wondered why? A lot of other smart people have, too. And it took a long time to figure it out!
The light from the Sun looks white. But it is really made up of all the colors of the rainbow. Like energy passing through the ocean, light energy travels in waves, too. Some light travels in short, “choppy” waves. Other light travels in long, lazy waves.Blue light waves are shorter than red light waves.
All light travels in a straight line unless something gets in the way to—
reflect it (like a mirror)
bend it (like a prism)
or scatter it (like molecules of the gases in the atmosphere)
Sunlight reaches Earth’s atmosphere and is scattered in all directions by all the gases and particles in the air. Blue light is scattered in all directions by the tiny molecules of air in Earth’s atmosphere. Blue is scattered more than other colors because it travels as shorter, smaller waves. This is why we see a blue sky most of the time.”
So, that’s the logical reason. Pretty cool.
I also love this 14th century Persian mystic’s “crazy”, illogical thoughts about our blue sky:
“Even After All this time The Sun never says to the Earth,
“You owe me.”
Look What happens With a love like that, It lights the whole sky.”
Hope you’re having a January Blue sky kind of day too. And if you woke up to face a gray sky – inside or outside – what would it take to shift and choose January Blue instead? Just go for it.
“You are the sky.
Everything else – it’s just the weather.”