Daily Wisdom / Pema Chödrön

Steady as a Log

Book cover
Emotional turmoil begins with an initial perception—a sight, sound, thought—which gives rise to a feeling of comfort or discomfort. This is the subtlest level of shenpa, the subtlest stage of getting hooked. Energetically there is a perceptible pull; it’s like wanting to scratch an itch. We don’t have to be advanced meditators to catch this.

This initial tug of “for” or “against” is the first place we can remain as steady as a log. Just experience the tug and relax into the restlessness of the energy, without fanning this ember with thoughts. If we stay present with the rawness of our direct experience, emotional energy can move through us without getting stuck. Of course, this isn’t easy and takes practice.

From No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva, page 130.

Of Interest to Readers
This title is now available in audio format! Take advantage of a free audio download (“Developing a Clear Intention: The Excellence of Bodhichitta”) and save 30% on the audio or print edition when you use code HA122112 at checkout. Offer expires 12/5/12.

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