September 21, 2010

We Can Still Be Crazy

Today's Daily Dharma,

Lovingkindness—maitri—toward ourselves doesn’t mean getting rid of anything. Maitri means that we can still be crazy, we can still be angry. We can still be timid or jealous or full of feelings of unworthiness. Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already. The ground of practice is you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are. That’s what we come to know with tremendous curiosity and interest.

-Pema Chodron, "We Can Still Be Crazy"

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universal law's picture

@ Monty -

As long as "seeing the illusory nature of things" is not taken as denial of the real issues of your life. As sentient beings living in this world of samsara, we have a responsibility to take full care of our daily life.

Monty McKeever's picture

Thanks for the comments everybody

Universal Law,

That's an interesting question. Personally, I don't see the two statements as diametrically opposed. I think that it is through working with who we are, as we are, that we begin to see the illusory nature of things.

universal law's picture

Re: Pema Chodron (We Can Still Be Crazy):
"The ground of practice is you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are."

On the other hand, Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel (The Power of an Open Question) says:
"The most insidious agreement that we make is that things are real, that we are real, and that the push and pull we have with the world of things is real, too."

Wasn't the MIddle Way supposed to reconcile these two diametrically opposed notions of how people are supposed to live?

Chana's picture

RIGHT ON! Finally someone talking in plain English about practice. We westerners have been following a foreign means to religious practice. The time is coming where that is not going to fly. The priests and teachers and falling from there pedestals. They have made a living off the unenlightened long enough. Just be yourself, all the flaws and quirks, and everything else that goes along with being human. Take back the right to be human! :)

Marie Zapien's picture

I hear ya, Chris. Loud and clear. So it would seem that when we are able to share about such viccissitudes of mind, of consciousness, etc., we are living in the realm of service; hence, my reply.

'Thank you'

Chris Lemig's picture

I was just writing about this sort of thing this morning, trying to come to terms with a day that was looking a bit sour. But do I too often cross the line and become too self-depracating, too in love with my own unworthiness? What about my strength, my capacity for real devotion and my true wish to be a positive force in the lives of those around me? I have to be careful, to make sure that I'm not ignoring those aspects of myself either.