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    Wisdom of No Escape

    PEMA CHÖDRÖN : The Wisdom of No Escape

    “There's a common misunderstanding among humans that the best way to live is to try and avoid pain and just try to get comfortable. You can see this even in insects and animals and birds...A much more interesting, kind, adventurous, and joyful approach to life is to begin to develop our curiosity, not caring whether the object of our inquisitiveness is bitter or sweet. To lead a life that goes beyond pettiness and prejudice and always wanting to make sure that everything turns out on our own terms, to lead a more passionate, full, and delightful life than that, we must realize that we can endure a lot of pain and pleasure for the sake of finding out who we are and what this world is, how we tick and how our world ticks, how the whole thing just is. If we're committed to comfort at any cost, as soon as we come up against the least edge of pain, we're going to run; we'll never know what is beyond that particular barrier or wall or fearful thing.”


    This is an excerpt from the book “The Wisdom of No Escape : And the Path of Loving-Kindness” One of the many books that have helped me to accept my disability and move forward to living a full life. I feel that it is a “Must Read” for anyone working through challenging situations and looking for emotional intelligence in life.
    I mentioned in other threads that I would like to start a topic on "Buddhism" , and discuss how meditation has helped in my post-SCI life ... Well this is it.

    Please try to keep this thread positive, I strongly feel that a lot of helpfull advice can be shared through the discussion of "Buddhism".

    Here are a few links for starters:

    A collection of teachings by Pema Chödrön :
    http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.ph...=28&Itemid=105

    Another one of my favourite Buddhist teachers , Lama Yeshe , two e-books can be found here , "Becoming Your Own Therapist" and "Make Your Mind An Ocean"
    http://www.buddhanet.net/ebooks_ms.htm
    There is a crack in everything ... That is how the light gets in (Leonard Cohen)

    #2
    Thank you for sharing, Jack. Pema Chodron is wonderful. Have you read her book, "When Things Fall Apart"?

    In relation to what you posted, it was Pema Chodron's writing about hope and hopelessness that really opened my eyes to the suffering I was causing myself. After my SCI I spent a decade tortured by hope, believing that a cure was the only thing that would make life worth living. Letting go of that hope set me free in so many wonderful ways. Have you had a similar experience?
    "I'm lost. I'm no guide, but I'm by your side." - Pearl Jam

    "It decomposes, mendicant, therefore, truly, one calls this the world." -- Loka Sutta

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Saorsa
      Thank you for sharing, Jack. Pema Chodron is wonderful. Have you read her book, "When Things Fall Apart"?

      In relation to what you posted, it was Pema Chodron's writing about hope and hopelessness that really opened my eyes to the suffering I was causing myself. After my SCI I spent a decade tortured by hope, believing that a cure was the only thing that would make life worth living. Letting go of that hope set me free in so many wonderful ways. Have you had a similar experience?
      YES! almost exactly as you . I started changing my feelings (angry about my disability) after reading Ram Dass "Journey of Awakening" but continued being stuck - focussing on my disability and my mantra was "Om healing ... heal me ... Om" It really wasn't helping much , I still was feeling trapped in anger and self-pitty, THEN I discovered Pema Chodron and about that same time, decided to get real serious about my meditation practice ... so the two together changed EVERYTHING in my life ... not only accepting my SCI but also changed how I treat people, understand people, and respect people. You know the saying, "you can't love others until you love yourself"
      It's been a little over 10 year now since I began this more sincere journey of awakening and I truely feel more "free" than ever before in my life.

      NO, I haven't read "when things fall apart" yet, I've heard her quote from it in interviews and plan on reading it this summer. The other Book that I have read is "Start where you are" Which follows the theme of ... developing courage and working with our inner pain, discovering joy, well-being, and confidence. But I still like "Wisdom of no escape" best
      There is a crack in everything ... That is how the light gets in (Leonard Cohen)

      Comment


        #4
        Jack, I'm SO glad you decided to start this discussion. I hope others will join in on the theme. I appreciate your perspectives on your studies. I'll be back with further thoughts on this... Matt

        Comes to mind at the moment:

        "Any technique, however worthy and desirable, becomes a disease when the mind is obsessed with it." ~Bruce Lee

        "You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist." ~(a much misunderstood) Friedrich Nietzsche
        get busy living or get busy dying

        Comment


          #5
          I'll be checking out a few of those books. Always interested in learning more about meditation.

          Comment


            #6
            damn jack, thats deep......when i left organized living (ie:assist. lvg..etc. ) 14 months after my injury, and began living alone, i decided then that i'd adapt to my injury and remain independent or die tryin and not focus on a cure or play with ideas of walking again......i've stuck to that and it's the only reason i've made it.........

            Comment


              #7
              I am sorry but I don't see any good in believing there is no escape. Maybe I am not understanding (applying) the meaning right. Give me a God (Supreme Being) who can deliver me because I am not able to deliver myself (Especially now with paralysis). I don't have to be superman (even though it might be a fun thought) because the greater good of the whole seems to be more rewarding for me when I realize the truth about super natural power. It's can be tough -- no doubt because even more wisdom (truth) could have likely helped me more (and others years ago).



              I would blame lack of fear for my inaction. Still, lack of fear in the government is a very dangerous thing that don't make me very happy knowing a crippled has more foresight (the part of a poor part). I'll ask it. What man is an Island unto himself and is happy about it?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Jack Spratt
                YES! almost exactly as you . I started changing my feelings (angry about my disability) after reading Ram Dass "Journey of Awakening" but continued being stuck - focussing on my disability and my mantra was "Om healing ... heal me ... Om" It really wasn't helping much , I still was feeling trapped in anger and self-pitty, THEN I discovered Pema Chodron and about that same time, decided to get real serious about my meditation practice ... so the two together changed EVERYTHING in my life ... not only accepting my SCI but also changed how I treat people, understand people, and respect people. You know the saying, "you can't love others until you love yourself"
                It's been a little over 10 year now since I began this more sincere journey of awakening and I truely feel more "free" than ever before in my life.
                I concur, sir! The process of wanting only to be healed and descending into long cycles of depression lasted a long time for me. Over ten years. I've studied Buddhism for nearly 9 years, but spent a lot of time subtlely re-realizing the same truths (a process that continues) between bouts of severe depression and commiserating. Today, I'm certainly not realized or wise, but I feel like I see the Right Path, you know?

                The real change began when I started making a real effort to change my life by helping others and putting my energy into helping people in any way I'm able. Lately, that's become a source of frustration. What do you do when you see someone you care about suffering, but find yourself utterly incapable of helping them?

                A comment on the notion of No Escape re: Chicago: We are made up of conditioned phenomenon (that is, our flesh and blood selves are dependent on the whole world to exist; the air, the water, the other human beings, and so on) and those phenomenon are temporary and relative. My (albeit limited and possibly wrong) sense of existence is that no matter where we're born, whether a heaven, hell or otherwise, so long as we cling to our sense of "I" in contrast to "others," we will be subject to the suffering inherent to relative existence, which is rooted in temporary conditions. If we set down our ego, though, we set down all of its needs, attachments and burdens.

                The Wisdom of No Escape is the realization that our pursuit of ease and comfort, which pleases our self-oriented nature, contributes to our suffering. If we take the time to reside in our pain, though, maybe we can stop our habit of constantly chasing comfort, of chasing relative ease, heavens opposed to hells, and start to wonder if there is another kind of freedom, one that comes from letting go of our endless pursuits in favor of cultivating selfless, unconditional compassion.
                "I'm lost. I'm no guide, but I'm by your side." - Pearl Jam

                "It decomposes, mendicant, therefore, truly, one calls this the world." -- Loka Sutta

                Comment


                  #9
                  Many poorer peoples at the rate of 180 million a year are turning to Christ because of a super natural phenemon called prophesing in the OT.
                  Last edited by Chicago; 29 Mar 2007, 10:08 PM.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Saorsa , Wow!
                    That made my heart flutter ... I think seeing how similar our journeys have been is almost spooky and I think we are at about the same spot in our wisdom and understanding, Most times I don't feel that I've achieved the level of "freedom" that I wish I had (or desire) ... Then I realize that I'm caught in that endless cycle of suffering (longing for happiness, good health, money, food, etc...) So I close my eyes and follow my breath until I feel content with experiencing this thing called life.

                    "My sense of existence is that no matter where we're born, whether a heaven, hell or otherwise, so long as we cling to our sense of "I" in contrast to "others," we will be subject to the suffering inherent to relative existence, which is rooted in temporary conditions. If we set down our ego, though, we set down all of its needs, attachments and burdens."

                    Is this Buddhist or Hindu ??? (Just currious)
                    I practiced Siddha Yoga ( http://www.siddhayoga.org ) for 5 years . The main focus was on eliminating "I" and "ego" from my thoughts, speech, and actions.
                    I guess a lot of the ancient practices that worked were absorbed into Buddhist practices , afterall, wisdom is wisdom no-matter where who teaches it.
                    There is a crack in everything ... That is how the light gets in (Leonard Cohen)

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Chicago
                      Many poorer peoples at the rate of 180 million a year are turning to Christ because of a super natural phenemon called prophesing in the OT.
                      I'm sorry I we can't help you CHICAGO , This thread is for discussing how meditation practice has helped improve your life ... in areas like Accepting SCI, Self esteem, Becoming more compassionate to yourself and others ...

                      There is a thread out in the forum titled "Why Me God" that might be more sutable to your needs.
                      Nameste'
                      There is a crack in everything ... That is how the light gets in (Leonard Cohen)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Jack Spratt
                        I'm sorry I we can't help you CHICAGO , This thread is for discussing how meditation practice has helped improve your life ... in areas like Accepting SCI, Self esteem, Becoming more compassionate to yourself and others ...

                        There is a thread out in the forum titled "Why Me God" that might be more sutable to your needs.
                        Nameste'
                        Thank you, Jack.

                        As for removing ego, it definitely helps. When I remove my wants and desires, focus on others, life is much easier. It's hard if I try too hard to do it, try to force it, easier if it just occurs. The meditation is the key.

                        When the mind and spirit are quieted, when the "I" is not front and center, life just is.

                        Comment


                          #13



                          Say Goodbye to "I"
                          You can't blame society for conditioning us, because society is only a bunch of individuals just like us. There must be some "should" deep inside every member of society that makes all the other "shoulds" necessary.
                          The deepest "should" in each one of us is that we should never become sick or disabled, get old or die. We do not want to think of a world in which we don't exist or accept a life in which we are not always young and physically capable. Alas, this "should of all shoulds" is not reality; it is a wish that can never be. The essence of the Buddha's enlightenment is that protecting the illusion of the ever-young and healthy "I" is the root cause of all suffering.
                          "Your success in handling disability depends on letting go of the illusion of the 'normal, immortal I,'" says Barry Corbet, student of Tibetan Buddhism and T10 paraplegic for 31 years. "If you have no 'I,' you have nothing to lose; if you have nothing to lose, there is no reason to suffer."

                          http://newmobility.com/review_articl...&action=browse

                          I came accross this article the other day and thought I'd add it to this thread, as if there isn't enugh to read on the subject ... well... at least this article is on the subject "Buddhisn plus Disability"
                          There is a crack in everything ... That is how the light gets in (Leonard Cohen)

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by quadvet
                            "Any technique, however worthy and desirable, becomes a disease when the mind is obsessed with it." ~Bruce Lee

                            "You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist." ~(a much misunderstood) Friedrich Nietzsche
                            I agree with both of these statements . When I first began meditation, I was addicted to the practice, some days I would stay in trance meditation for hours... just resting in the purple glow of my mind ... I was stuck there for three or four years, every day, sitting in a limbo, feeling like I was floating in space.
                            I can't say that THAT practice did much "good" for me, but it did lay down the foundation I needed to take on more difficult meditations like "tonglen" or "Tantra Yoga".

                            Quadvet, I am really currious if you meditate or have any specific practice-discopline that keeps you grounded ???
                            Others have told you, and I agree, that you are an old soul , You have a lot of wisdom and kindness that comes through in most of your posts. And I find myslf asking every day "How does Matt manage to stay possitive... enduring constant, endless, pain as well as being quadreplegic ?"

                            I hope I'm not being too intrusive, but if you care to share, I would love to know what works for you.
                            There is a crack in everything ... That is how the light gets in (Leonard Cohen)

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by LaMemChose
                              Thank you, Jack.

                              As for removing ego, it definitely helps. When I remove my wants and desires, focus on others, life is much easier. It's hard if I try too hard to do it, try to force it, easier if it just occurs. The meditation is the key.

                              When the mind and spirit are quieted, when the "I" is not front and center, life just is.
                              So is this the point, that everyone is talking about? What LaMemChose said? Is there a specific way to meditate, or are there many different ways? This whole thing is new to me, so sorry if I come across as being a bit dim-witted... Tiff
                              "Everyone learns faster on fire".

                              "First she spoke with a voice, then she spoke with her own".

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