Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Wise Words

Throughout the years of my yoga teaching, I just keep returning to Pema. This gorgeous Buddhist monk simply talks to my soul.

I was first turned onto Pema Chodron's work by a former yoga teacher of mine. I was really battling with depression and life, and she recommended the book "When Things Fall Apart" to me. It was an introduction to a long lasting relationship between Pema and I.

Her heart just comes through the pages of her books. Her words speak to me - they're relevant, funny, touching and simple.

I haven't actually re-read any of Pema's books for a wee while, but this morning out of no where, I encouraged my students to 'start where you are'. To be where you are, today. I mentioned Pema's book (by the same title) and some students asked me about it after class. Clearly, we all can be reminded to start here, now, where we are in this moment. So now, I share this with you.

May you and Pema have just as long, beautiful & supportive a relationship as I do with her.


“Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both. Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. But if that's all that's happening, we get arrogant and start to look down on others, and there is a sense of making ourselves a big deal and being really serious about it, wanting it to be like that forever. The gloriousness becomes tinged by craving and addiction. On the other hand, wretchedness--life's painful aspect--softens us up considerably. 

Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. When you are feeling a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody's eyes because you feel you haven't got anything to lose--you're just there. The wretchedness humbles us and softens us, but if we were only wretched, we would all just go down the tubes. We'd be so depressed, discouraged, and hopeless that we wouldn't have enough energy to eat an apple. 

Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.” 


Michelle said...

Loving your blog Stella - this recent post so resonates with me. I might have to buy the book by Pema Chodron's book. Sounds like something I really need to read.

bel said...

Love it. Pema has definitely helped me through some tough times and will no doubt continue to do so! x

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