On developing curiosity

April 17, 2020.

It’s only Monday and I’m feeling anxious about various family members and all I want to do is hunker down with tasty snacks and forget about the rest of the week and everything that comes with it. Alas, life doesn’t work that way. Even this squirrel, who appears so content in the photo, was moments later focused on my intrusion. None of us are allowed to just be. Or, are we?

“There is a common misunderstanding among all the human beings who have ever been born on earth that the best way to live is to try to avoid pain and just try to get comfortable. You see this even in insects and animals and birds. All of us are the same. A much more interesting, kind and joyful approach to life is to begin to develop our curiosity, not caring whether the object of our curiosity is bitter or sweet. To lead a life that goes beyond pettiness and prejudice and always wanting to make sure that everything turns out on our own terms, to lead a more passionate, full, and delightful life than that, we must realize that we can endure a lot of pain and pleasure for the sake of finding out who we are and what this world is, how we tick and how our world ticks, how the whole thing just is. If we are committed to comfort at any cost, as soon as we come up against the least edge of pain, we’re going to run; we’ll never know what’s beyond that particular barrier or wall or fearful thing.”
― Pema Chödrön

On this day and every other day

You carry Mother Earth within you.
She is not outside of you.
Mother Earth is not just your environment.
In that insight of inter-being,
it is possible to have real communication with the Earth,
which is the highest form of prayer.

~  Thich Nhat Hanh

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When Things Fall Apart

I haven’t been around these parts in quite some time.
Part of me feels badly about that, but another part knows it was necessary.
I needed that time to hunker down and conserve strength.
And the good news is that I am feeling stronger and more resilient these days.
Yay, me!

Stuff has fallen apart.
But I’ve come to understand on a whole new level that stuff falls apart for everyone.
Every day.
Life as we know it is an ongoing series of sunshine and shit-storms,
and I’m learning not to fight that truth.

As Pema Chodron writes in WHEN THINGS FALL APART:
Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy. 

I’m grateful for that tiny Buddhist nun and the wisdom she shares, and I’m grateful for friends who reached out during my hunkering-down. I apologize for the silence and will be in touch.

Tracy in search of Owls

Tracy in search of Owls