Into the Wildfire

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“There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly. Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life; it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.” 
― Pema ChödrönThe Wisdom of No Escape: How to Love Yourself and Your World

"See it clearly without judgement and let it go. Come back to the present moment. From now on until the moment of your death, you could do this."

~Ani Pema Chodron

"‎We act out because, ironically, we think it will bring us some relief. We equate it with happiness. Often there is some relief, for the moment. When you have an addiction and you fulfill that addiction, there is a moment in which you feel some relief. Then the nightmare gets worse. So it is with aggression. When you get to tell someone off, you might feel pretty good for a while, but somehow the sense of righteous indignation and hatred grows, and it hurts you. It’s as if you pick up hot coals with your bare hands and throw them at your enemy. If the coals happen to hit him he will be hurt. But in the meantime, you are guaranteed to be burned.
(Start Where You Are)"

- Pema Chodron

"I’ve known many people who have spent years exercising daily, getting massages, doing yoga, faithfully following one food or vitamin regimen after another, pursuing spiritual teachers and different styles of meditation, all in the name of taking care of themselves. Then something bad happens to them and all those years don’t seem to have added up to the inner strength and kindness for themselves that they need to relate with what’s happening. And they don’t add up to being able to help other people or the environment.

When taking care of ourselves is all about me, it never gets at the unshakable tenderness and confidence that we’ll need when everything falls apart. When we start to develop maitri for ourselves, unconditional acceptance of ourselves, then we’re really taking care of ourselves in a way that pays off. We feel more at home with our own bodies and minds and more at home in the world. As our kindness for ourselves grows, so does our kindness for other people.”


~Ani Pema Chodron

‎”In the most ordinary terms, egolessness is a flexible identity. It manifests as inquisitiveness, as adaptability, as humor, as playfulness. It is our capacity to relax with not knowing, not figuring everything out, with not being at all sure who we are, or who anyone else is, either.”

~Ani Pema Chodron

‎”The only way to ease our pain is to experience it fully. Learn to stay with uneasiness, learn to stay with the tightening, so that the habitual chain reaction doesn’t continue to rule your life.”

~Ani Pema Chodron

DON’T COVER THE WORLD WITH LEATHER

"Our problems can’t be solved by eliminating each and every outer cause. Nevertheless, people everywhere take this approach: “It’s the world’s fault; it’s too rough, too sharp, too alien. If I could get rid of these outer woes, I’d be happy.”

Shantideva says: If you want to protect your feet, wear shoes; and if you want to protect yourself from the world’s provocations, tame your mind. The antidote to misery is to stay present.
(From No Time To Lose) ~ Pema Chodron

"As long as we’re caught up in always looking for certainty and happiness, rather than honoring the taste and smell and quality of exactly what is happening, as long as we’re always running from discomfort, we’re going to be caught in a cycle of unhappiness and discomfort, and we will feel weaker and weaker. This way of seeing helps us develop inner strength. And what’s especially encouraging is the view that inner strength is available to us at just the moment when we think that we’ve hit the bottom, when things are at their worst."

- ~Pema Chodron (from Practicing Peace in Time of War)

"Rather than going after our walls and barriers with a sledgehammer, we pay attention to them. With gentleness and honesty, we move closer to those walls. We touch them and smell them and get to know them well. We begin a process of acknowledging our aversions and our cravings. We become familiar with the strategies and beliefs we use to build the walls: What are the stories I tell myself? What repels me and what attracts me? We start to get curious about what’s going on."

- Pema Chodron (From The Places That Scare You)