I've decided that I'm going to change my name to Pema and then I could call this blog, "Pema and Pema." And then a spiritually enlightened producer would option it for a film and Meryl Street could play both Pema Chodron and me! Wouldn't that be perfect?
Seriously, I do find that when I'm feeling at my lowest, reading Pema's writings always seems to lift me up. This is from "Practicing Peace in Times of War"...
"Difficulty is inevitable
On a very basic level all beings think that they should be happy. When life becomes difficult or painful, we feel that something has gone wrong. According to the Buddhist teachings, difficulty is inevitable in human life. For one thing, we cannot escape the realities of death. But there are also the realities of aging, of illness, of not getting what we want, and of getting what we don't want. These kinds of difficulties are facts of life. Even if you were the Buddha himself, if you were a fully enlightened person, you would experience death, illness, aging, and sorrow at losing what you love. All of these things would happen to you. If you got burned or cut, it would hurt.
But the Buddhist teachings also say that this is not really what causes us misery in our lives. What causes misery is always trying to get away from the facts of life, always trying to avoid pain and seek happiness -- this sense of ours that there could be lasting security and happiness available to us if we could only do the right thing.
It is so basic in us to feel that things should go well for us, and that if we start to feel depressed, lonely, or inadequate, there's been some kind of mistake or we've lost it. In reality, when you feel depressed, lonely, betrayed, or any unwanted feelings, this is an important moment on the spiritual path. This is when real transformation takes place."
Okay, I would rather be transformed by winning the lottery or writing a best-selling book, but if Pema says this is the way to go, I'll have to trust her. She's never steered me wrong. I do find that my morning meditation is one of the highlights of my day and that going through some of the depression, does give you a sense of strength, of being able to handle life.
This morning a dear friend of mine called and we talked about her daughter, who has been through a very rough medical procedure and slow recovery. We both cried and talked about how deeply we love our daughters and how painful it is to see them suffer any difficulty. Asking for help, remembering to be grateful for all the blessings in our life and knowing that although this is a challenging time, we are literally transforming into spiritually enlightened beings helps.
One question: is there a money back guarantee with this, Pema?