Monday, May 27, 2013

Three Step Practice

"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.

Then go into the next moment without any agenda”

Pema Chodron (Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change).

Lately we have been discussing how a sense of gratitude emerges spontaneously when we can notice and let go of thoughts that appear to keep us safe. What does it mean to be fully present with ourselves anyway?

If we practice the attitude of kindness that Pema describes above, we reduce the need to feel defensive by making excuses for our thoughts and behaviour. When we treat ourselves as we would like to be treated, we become aware of how often we treat ourselves harshly. This is what Jesus meant when he advised us to “Love thy neighbor as thyself”. We see ourselves and everyone else as Divine beings trying to awaken to love. Gratitude and compassion emerge spontaneously from this awareness.

When we are willing to becoming more aware of how we create our reality we become dilligent about listening to our inner chatter. We can experience moving through discomfort with grace. We realize that its really up to us how much we create our own suffering when our endless judgments and criticisms try to steal the show. Its probably our resistance or attachment to outcomes that really twists the knife.

Life can be challenging enough without listening to the ‘Peanut Gallery’ that drones on endlessly within our mind. Buddha describes the root of all suffering as ignorance. When he says this, he seems to be speaking to our need to pay attention to the chatter of our ‘monkey-mind’ that keeps us ignorant.

Instead we can choose again. Its never too late to stop and pay attention to our own limitless Presence. When do we make this leap? For us its emerged from our sense of being fed up with the story that never ends. We want a new direction that emerges from our own Divine Authority, not the endless list of rules that the world sets out for us, while claiming to keep us safe.

Join us and choose compassion for yourself. Its never too late and we never run out of opportunities to practice.   
Then go into the next moment without any agenda.
(From Pema's book Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change)