Sunday, July 29, 2012

it's hopeless

Shambala Sun

One of my favorite teachings was issued by a contemporary of Pema Chodron, Ken Friedman, both students and disciples of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche founder of Shambala path of Buddhist meditation . Ken Friedman lived here in Columbia South Carolina in the sixties and was a professor at USC. On a beautiful day early in the fall of the early eighties, Ken made his way back to Columbia from the Shambala Center in Nova Scotia where he was assigned by Chogyam Rinpoche to teach. Arrangements were made for Ken’s visit here and a lecture on the horseshoe. I anticipated his visit with much excitement for I had been married at his home and I was soaking up Chogyam Rinpoche’s teachings in that day. He arrived to a gathering of about a dozen people and from his seat silently acknowledged the gathering with a scan of his eyes. After a moment of silence he uttered “it’s hopeless”. I guess you could of heard a pin drop and before he went on to elaborate on some basic tenets of Shambala meditation, it was noticeable that most of the few were squirming with discomfort. 

What “I” endures most often while confronting an authentic spiritual teaching or experience is discomfort and I remember one of Rinpoche’s most well known quotes “Enlightenment is the ego’s greatest disappointment”. So when things are unraveling just know that “I” is doing the same. Nudges, great  and small, to drop the “I” have been described in many ways in many traditions but in a nutshell  “let it go” sums it up. Discomfort is good news. I remember this when I am doing a long stretch of Sat Kriya or when challenges show up. Yogi Bhajan Master of Kundalini Yoga spoke also of discomfort as a condition we often associate with discipline. He said the meditative way is uncomfortable but in a much different way. It  is “polite.” He laid out as a part of his training, a path that included mind and body practices for the strength to be open to challenge. He said every time you face a challenge say  the mantra "victory" in your head or aloud. Just keep saying it.  If you are to continue on which you must, you will return back to yourself after ordeal, and  breathe a sigh of relief that you had opportunity to lose some baggage and gain a little more sense of inner freedom.  You might reflect on those inner conditions driving you through heights and depths of stress before. Those were… yep…hopeless.

1 comment:

Lori Baker said...

Just the reminder I needed... the threads are pulled... the unraveling continues.

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