Thursday, October 10, 2013

Off to meet Pema soon...

I am a Buddhist. I don't have a particular Sangha (Buddhist community) that I practice with but I sort of just embrace the world as my Sangha and do what works for me - which is the essence of Buddhism so I figure that's alright.

I do, however, have a teacher I follow quite closely. I've been a fan of Pema Chodron since I first bought and read 'Start Where You Are' (good advice, by the way) on the recommendation of my psychologist. What I love about Pema is the clarity with which she explains things. Whether you're a Buddhist or not, what she says is mostly just good, common sense. To be fair, most Buddhist teachings are just good, common sense:

Love yourself.

Choose your own path.

Be compassionate based on the knowledge that everyone else is just as confused as you are.

Everything changes.

Believe nothing unless it fits your own sense of reason.

No one does anything because they want to feel worse.

Death is inevitable.

You can't change other people and outer circumstance. You can change your mind.

Thoughts are like clouds in the sky or waves on the ocean - they come and go but above them is something vast and wide open.

Live with curiosity.

Be genuine.

And so on...

So I'm a fan and I spend a lot of time reading Pema's stuff and listening to her talks and so on and at the end of this month I'll be seeing her in person and hearing her speak at a retreat in Rhinecliff, New York.   I'm pretty damn excited as I made up my mind to finally go see her speak late in 2011. I quickly discovered she was in solitary retreat for all of 2012 so I had to wait until January of this year to finally book to attend one of her talks.

An opportunity to practice patience.

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