when things fall apart

I just picked up Pema Chödrön's masterful book When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times. I found it in a long forgotten box in storage, an archaeological dig into my past self. Of course, I needed to read it again, feels like the first time.

In the introduction she quotes her teacher, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, "Chaos should be regarded as extremely good news". Well then, there appears to be good news all around!

What once felt stable and secure, now feels like tides moving under me. Things I took for granted as my own True Nature (unchanging essence of who I am) are now showing themselves to be yet another façade.

So where do we place our attention when things fall apart? When what we thought or imagined to be fixed and stable begin to crumble.

In yoga there is the instruction in standing postures to choose a spot to gaze upon that is unmoving to become more centered and stable. That kind of psycho-spiritual-emotional stable-gazing-spot seems to only reside in the unchanging view, that which is larger than the bodies ever changing display, beyond our human relations and even beyond any belief system that we knowingly or unknowingly have taken on as truth.

Allowing this kind of focus requires a compassionate abiding with all that is occurring. A tenderness in the witnessing, a soft and loving embrace of it all. This can calm the edginess, the sharp ways of self deprecation and slinging of assumptions that cause so much pain and suffering.

This is my practice – today and everyday. To be kind and accepting of what is happening.

"Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it…this will miraculously transform your whole life."–Eckhart Tolle

What helps you to be more loving and kind? Leave me a comment below. I'd love to hear.

when things fall apart.JPG
Valerie Kausen1 Comment