'With unfailing kindness, your life always presents what you need to learn. Whether you stay home, or work in an office, or whatever, the next teacher is going to pop right up.'
- Charlotte Joko Beck
- Charlotte Joko Beck
This morning I woke up feeling pretty awful. It's a chronic thing that tends to flare up this time of year. It wasn't a pleasant thing to wake up to; I'm using a bit of understatement here. I made a quick decision that it wasn't going to dictate my frame of mind. A slogan from Tibetan Buddhism came to mind that I thought might be helpful in supporting that decision. I picked up a book looking for the slogan and it’s explanation. I found the quote above, but not the slogan I wanted. After looking for in two more books I decided that this quote was going to work just fine.
It reminded me of 'causes & conditions'. My experience of this moment is the effect of 'causes & conditions'. It arises out of past decisions I've made and collective influences. It's the fruit of these, and the way that I respond to them that will be part of the 'causes & conditions' of my future. Committing to experiencing this moment (this fruit) as directly as possible, as free of my stories, my judgments, my likes and dislikes will create the best possible experience for me.
At times it can be pretty hard to see what arises in our lives as the perfect and kind teacher. For me, it's relating to the moment as directly as possible that allows whatever's going on to be the perfect stepping stone for forward movement. It's not really the events themselves that are the teacher - it's responding to them as fully present to myself and as free of ideas about how things 'should' be as I can that makes a teaching of whatever it is....
Responding in that way has become possible as I have learned to be present for myself, to be a wise mother or father or teacher to myself in that moment, expressing compassion for my experience, promising myself that I will not leave. I will walk through the difficulty with me. It's a weird thing to write about, the words don't sound right. But, it is a powerful, powerful way to heal, and face difficulties of the present.
A lot has happened since I wrote this piece nine months ago. My health has improved so much, my belief that being well is an option has taken root. I have expanded beyond limitations that I didn’t think it was possible to go beyond, and I am not stopping now.
There has been the tender encouragement of friends, tweaking of supplements and medications, and a lot of trust. One of the biggest things that occurred was the recognition that the limitations in my health I’d been experiencing for three decades were well grounded in my thinking and this is alterable. To reach this awareness was a move into self-acceptance at a profound level, simply looking at things with as much honesty as I could muster and no judgment. With my daily practice of Qigong, the mentoring of dear friends, and unflinching honesty about myself my life has been and is continuing to be redefined. The possibility of Life is so much greater than we realize. May we all enter into the depth of possibility, letting go our persistent need to know so that we may allow.