Monday, July 6
Shadow

Tag: pema chodron

Mindful Monday: Control Issues?

Buddhism, Challenge, contemplation, mindfulness, overwhelmed, Spirituality
Do you have control issues? I do. In the past five years, my family has experienced a long string of stressful events—terminal illness diagnoses, deaths, breakdowns, emergencies, chemo and radiation, surgeries, and alarming revelations. Life kept falling apart. It still is. I struggled to control the outcomes of these events because I found myself terrified by suffering and loss. Surely if I knew how to do just the right thing, I could make a situation turn out well, solve the problem, or keep people from dying. When I couldn’t, which was most of the time, I felt like I had failed: bad mother, bad daughter, bad wife. Self-loathing escalated. Margaret Wheatley, a consultant, writer, and student of Pema Chödrön, sheds light on this idea of hating oneself because we think we fall short whe...
Mindful Monday: Listening to Fear

Mindful Monday: Listening to Fear

body, Buddhism, Challenge, Grief, mind, mindfulness, Spirituality
This post is the second of three on the topic of mindfulness and listening. ~~~ My mother had pulmonary fibrosis during the last four and a half years of her life. This disease slowly steals your breath, hardening your lungs until you die of heart failure or suffocation. Her illness angered and terrified me, as much as it broke my heart. I never overcame the fear, to my regret, and a lot of times, I didn't know what to say or how to be. Rodney Smith, a former hospice chaplain and the guiding teacher at Seattle Insight Meditation Society (SIMS), urges us to listen mindfully to our reactivity when we listen to someone else, including the sick or dying. He asks: "Can you connect with [another] person's humanity? Can you access his [or her] pain? Are you able to own that anger that you proj...

Thoughtful Thursday – Simmering

Photography, Quote, spiritual practice
"Not acting on our habitual patterns is only the first step toward not harming others or ourselves. The transformative process begins at a deeper level when we contact the rawness we’re left with whenever we refrain. As a way of working with our aggressive tendencies, Dzigar Kongtrül teaches the nonviolent practice of simmering. He says that rather than “boil in our aggression like a piece of meat cooking in a soup,” we simmer in it. We allow ourselves to wait, to sit patiently with the urge to act or speak in our usual ways and feel the full force of that urge without turning away or giving in. Neither repressing nor rejecting, we stay in the middle between the two extremes, in the middle between yes and no, right and wrong, true and false. This is the journey of developing a kindhearted ...