It has been on the book shelf for some time, and this morning as Rick and I were drinking coffee, we talked about Zen......He asked me if I had some books that he could read so I pointed him to the Zen shelves. The Zen Commandments was the first book he pulled off the shelf, I told him it was a great book.....then immediately took it from his hand and began to read it again!
Every day I meet and teach people in pain. You know there are different kinds of pain.......the physical kind from injuries, the emotional kind from trauma, the pain that you get when you give up on life. The pain that is self-inflicted, brought about by guilt and the search for a perfection that does not exist. The pain that is a security blanket, that becomes your identity, who you are.
The pain that cripples your soul and leaves you encased in self-loathing.
We all suffer from pain, it is part of living. It is part of that circle of life, a lesson, an experience.
There is a quote in the book by Nga K'Chang Rinpoche, one of the best I have ever read concerning pain, so I am sharing it with you all tonight.
"We tend our pain meticulously through the familiar process of thinking about it. The more we think around our emotional pain the more we cripple ourselves with the artificial intensity of it....
We could allow our pain to dissolve into the skylike openness of direct experience; but somehow we feel more secure with our pain as a reference point."
I have a very good friend, she has suffered much physical and emotional pain. She is a beautiful
woman, inside and out. Today we were talking, and she talked about learning to live with pain.
She was so profound and wise as she talked about, understanding her pain, and realizing it was part of her, but it could not keep her from living her life. She no longer allows pain to be her reference point, she no longer allows pain to shape her identity. She has chosen to live, no matter how painful life is. I was humbled greatly by her words and honored that she shared them with me.
So this pain, that we all deal with at some point in our lives, do we let it devour us, steal the goodness of that which is all around us, or do we do as my friend did.......she understands that there will always be pain in her life, but she has also realized there is pain in all lives of some sort. Through more pain, and change and growth, she made the choice to live. I think most of us choose to do that on most days, we just take a deep breathe, maybe fake a smile and go on out there and live. But on those days, when your pain threatens to rob you, to take your identity,
know that at any given moment some one else has stood up to pain, refused to let it win, decided to never let it rob them of life. Acknowledge the pain, but take your awareness to things and people that bring you joy......... live your life.