Saturday, May 3, 2014

What are you expecting?

For many years, I thought the best way to get through life was to be prepared for the worst. Going into a situation, I'd envision the worst thing that could happen and how I would deal with it. I would be ready -- even if it rarely, if ever, came to that.

The problem with that, of course, is that you walk into every situation defended, tensed, ready for battle. That leaves you unprepared to see the best thing that could happen. If you walk into an unfamiliar room full of people you've never met in a configuration you've never seen prepared to be ignored and out-of-place, you give off that energy, almost guaranteeing that will happen.

One of the gifts of Buddhist practice is learning to trust that you can work with whatever happens, best or worst or somewhere in-between. In fact, best and worst are just labels. Life just is.

That's more advanced practice. The first step is figure out what your view is -- what is the undercurrent to the attitude you bring to the day? What are the words beneath the words you speak to yourself? When you know that, you can -- if you choose -- play with shifting that.

"At some point, we need to stop identifying with our weaknesses and shift our allegiance to our basic goodness. It’s highly beneficial to understand that our limitations are not absolute and monolithic, but relative and removable. The wisdom of buddha nature is available to us at any time."
Pema Chodron
The Women in Buddhism Group at the Interdependence Project will be exploring Right View at its May 17 meeting. What is your view?

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