Pema Chodron: Joy

The Wisdom of No Escape

At the end of this week’s class I read an excerpt from Pema Chodron’s lovely book. It is from Chapter 6 and is about Joy.

The Navajo teach their children that every morning when the sun comes up, it’s a brand-new sun. It’s born each morning, it lives for the duration of one day, and in the evening it passes on, never to return again. As soon as the children are old enough to understand, the adults take them out at dawn and they say, “The sun has only one day. You must live this day in a good way, so that the sun won’t have wasted precious time.” Acknowledging the preciousness of each day is a good way to live, a good way to reconnect with our basic joy.

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The whole chapter expands this theme and is well worth reading. She tells a story of a woman runnign away from tigers and she climbs down a cliff, and the tigers are above and below, waiting for her to fall. A mouse is nibbling away at the vine she is clinign on to. She also sees a bunch of strawberries near her. She takes a strawberry, eats it and enjoys it thoroughly. Pema Chodron says,

“Tigers above, tigers below. This is 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, 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.”

This is the message we read over and over in different forms: enjoy each moment as if it were your last. You never know what is in the future. It is hard to put this into action. Yoga and meditation help, but modern life is always driving us forwards, to achieve more and more, and not just smell the roses. So today, think about what your strawberry moment is and savour it!

The first post…

It’s quite daunting starting a new blog. But one of the main reasons I’ve started it is that I’ve been like a big sponge the last 2 months reading books about healing and changing your life. Partly I want to record what I’m learning so I don’t forget things, but also to have it on record for other people to access. This has been a big journey of knowledge for me and I’ve been lucky that I’ve had the time to immerse myself in it. Each book has referenced other books, which I’ve then read, and as I’ve done so my understanding has deepened. I’ve also discovered an interest in such things as quantum healing and epigenetics that I would never have imagined myself being fascinated by before. But if all of the references help someone else to find new ways of looking at life, as I have, then I will feel that this blog has achieved what I set out to do. At the very least I can give you pointers for where to find the information for yourself.

Sometimes we just need one inspiration to set us on our way. For me, that was Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life. I’d had it on my bookshelf for years and never read it and eventually took it to a charity shop a year or so ago. Then someone recommended it to me before Christmas. I ordered it from Amazon and before it arrived I discovered a talk by Louise Hay on YouTube of her basic principles of life and positive thinking. Her philosophy and affirmations pretty much saved me from going mad over Christmas when I was housebound for the second time in a year with a back problem. I have probably read the book 3 times now, in bits and pieces. A lot of people think her philosophy is a little bit simplistic or overly head-based when you want to be living more from your heart, but I can only thank her for being there when I needed some hope. The affirmations helped me remain positive when last year I was in the depths of despair. And along the way she referenced other compassionate writers such as Dr Bernie Siegel, who have inspired her, more of whom anon…

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