Practices To Help Us

I am seated at the dining room table of friends in Boulder, Colorado.  It is a perfect Sunday summer morning. My coffee on my left, a vase of home-grown sunflowers in front of me and a sleeping kitty cat on my right.

I see my husband through the window.  He sits outside on the patio, enjoying the New York Times and his breakfast. This much-anticipated vacation makes us happy to be alive.  

This is perfection.

It’s easy to embrace life on these terms.  

But how can I love life this much when I’m back at home?  Back at home with the ringing phones and the toilets to be cleaned and the air-conditioner that breaks and the bills that need paying? And the parents who are aging?

When in doubt, I turn to writings by the Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron. The luxury of vacation allows much time for reading and reflection.  When I stumbled upon this excerpt from Chodron’s book “When Things Fall Apart,” I recalled a time not too long ago when things were falling apart for me.

Chodron writes about life

Chodron writes about life

It’s only been a couple of years. It seems like forever-ago, yet just yesterday.

I failed at something I wanted so earnestly.  And the next day I lay in bed with a box of tissues and Chodron’s book.  At the time she was the only one who could reach me.  I felt held and encouraged by her words.

Today, miles away from that dark time and place of a few years ago, Chodron’s book gets me again.  Things are not falling apart, yet I am once again uplifted and touched by these words.

May they reach you wherever you find yourself today.

Namaste.  Leah