“As we train in the bodhichitta practices, we gradually feel more joy, the joy that comes from a growign appreciation of our basic goodness. We still experience strong conflicting emotions, we still experience the illusion of separateness, but there’s a fundamental openness that we begin to trust. This trust in our fresh, unbiased nature brings us unlimited you — a happiness that’s completely devoid of clinging and craving. This is the joy of happiness without a hangover.
How do we cultivate the conditions for joy to expand? We train in staying present. In sitting meditation, we train in mindfulness and maitri: in being steadfast with our bodies, our emotions, our thoughts. We stay with our own little plot of earth and trust that it can be cultivated, that cultivation will bring it to its full potential. Even though it’s full of rocks and the soil is dry, we begin to plow this plot of patience. We let the process evolve naturally. . .
A traditional aspiration for awakening appreciation and joy is “May I and others never be separated from the great happiness that is devoid of suffering.” This refers to always abiding in the wide-open, unbiased nature of our minds — to connecting with the inner strength and basic goodness. To do this, however, we start with conditioned examples of good fortune such as health, basic intelligence, a supportive environment — the fortunate conditions that constitute a precious human birth. For the awakening warrior, the greatest advantage is to find ourselves in a time when it is possible to hear and practice the bodhichitta teachings. We are doubly blessed if we have a spiritual friend — a more accomplished warrior — to guide us. . .
Whenever we get caught, it’s helpful to remember the teachings — to recall that suffering is the result of an aggressive mind. Even slight irritation causes us pain when we indulge in it. This is the time to ask, “Why am I doing this to myself again?” Contemplating the causes of suffering right on the spot empowers us. We begin to recognize that we have what it takes to cut through our habit of eating poison. Even if it takes the rest of our lives, nevertheless, we can do it.”
I am grateful to Pema Chodron and her teachings. There have been times in my life where I feel like I survived by listening to her voice, playing audiobooks again and again, finding comfort and wise words that helped me to hold my seat despite what was going on in my interior and exterior worlds.
My practices and my life have been informed by Pema Chodron’s teachings and our world is truly better for having had her wisdom and her devotion to teaching the Dharma and for continuing Chogyam Trungpa’s teachings for so long.
May Ani Pema be blessed with long life, health, great compassion, and love. And may she be here for a long time to help guide us through that what scares us and remind us that are shenpa is showing!
With great devotion and gratitude, Jennifer
Related Video Links
http://www.veoh.com/watch/v471374rScnEhqA – Bill Moyer and Pema Chodron
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DafQYGo3Zkc&feature=relmfu – Pema Chodron on Bodhichitta
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFuotEZxPCA&feature=relmfu — Pema Chodron on Bodhichitta Intention
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGrPz9fQWI8&feature=relmfu – Pema Chodron on Working with “Shenpa”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ID5GSnmCNOA&feature=related – Pema Chodron on Gempo Abbey
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buTrsK_ZkvA&feature=related – Pema Chodron on “This Lousy World”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7kFvETUT3s&feature=relmfu – Pema Chodron on “Dunzie”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3sPGxurY-w&feature=relmfu – Common Tacits of Aggression
- Patience (mindbodyspiritacademy.org)
- WHAT ARE WE PRACTICING? – Pema Chodron (paulotus.wordpress.com)
- Pema Chödrön: Fear and Fearlessness (coreonnewenergyenglish.wordpress.com)
- Why Ani Pema always makes me smile… (namasteconsultinginc.com)
- Learning from the moment (mindfulbalance.org)
- On “Loving-Kindness” ~ Pema Chodron (dhamma4mama.com)
- Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears by Pema Chodron (kunavision.com)
- Radical Sabbatical: Love (focuspocusnow.com)
- The ground of our practice (mindfulbalance.org)
- Allowing Space (gavinkirk.wordpress.com)