In the reading this morning of "When Things Fall Apart," Pema Chodron's introduction to the book includes some quotes from Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, her Buddhist teacher:
"Making friends with our own demons, and their accompanying insecurity leads to a very simple, understated relaxation and joy."
I really hope that someday, I can honestly say I've found this to work in my life. Right now, I am pretty far from the experience of "a very simple, understated relaxation and joy."
Rinpoche also gave her the instruction to relax and write. At the time, she never imagined that she would be able to. She has spent many years now doing just that - so I think that there is hope.
Her year of "doing nothing" in 1995, as she explains in the introduction, led her to one of her most important books, "When Things Fall Apart."
"If your life is chaotic and stressful, there's plenty of advice here for you. If you're in transition, suffering from loss, or just fundamentally restless, these teachings are tailor made. The main point is that we all need to be reminded and encouraged to relax with whatever arises and bring whatever we encounter to the path."
The first time I read the book, I was in transition. The second time I was suffering from loss. Now, I am just fundamentally restless. My life has moved forward in a very challenging way, but I am still feeling fear and discomfort sometimes. I think that this is life - and I am learning how to sit with it and not try to escape it.
The final quote:
"Chaos should be regarded as extremely good news."