August 31, 2009

Daily Dharma - Pema Chödrön on letting go

Working intimately with a teacher is the same as learning to stop shielding ourselves from the completely uncertain nature of reality. All the ways that we hold back and shut down, all the ways that we cling and grasp, all our habitual ways of limiting and solidifying our world become very clear to us, and it's unnerving. At that painful point, we usually want to make the teacher wrong or make ourselves wrong or do anything that is habitual and comforting to get ground back under our feet. But when we make an unconditional commitment to hang in there, we do not run away from the pain of seeing ourselves—and this is a revolutionary thing to do and it transforms us. But how many of us are ready for this? One has to gradually develop the trust that it is ultimately liberating to let go of strongly held assumptions about reality.

–Pema Chodron, from "Unconditionally Steadfast: An Interview with Pema Chodron," Tricycle, Fall 1999

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