Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sowing the Seeds of Awakening

Fear is a natural reaction of moving closer to the truth.
Pema Chodron

Shortly after my lumpectomy by a happy synchronicity, I found a teacher. I have never met Pema Chodron, but she has taught me much in the last four and a half months.

One of the biggest struggles I have had and have is dealing with fear/uncertainty. In the past I would run away at times from things that would scare me or I didn't want to face. I am struggling with returning to work. There were massive problems before I left in June and I'm sure they remain.....My fear isn't so much the problems, but in that I have had to learn lessons on how to deal with the life much differently if I am to stay healthy, i.e. will I be successful in applying said lessons to the work environment. Also on my mind is will people respect the person I have become?

I woke up this morning from a nightmare related to the fear of failing etc...heart pounding, palms sweating ... A few months ago I would have sought distraction. Thanks to Chodron's tutelage I have learned to go to the meditation mat and sit with what is. In her words from "Comfortable with Uncertainty":

"That is why it's so good to meditate every single day and continue to make friends with our hopes and fears again and again. This sows the seeds that enable us to be more awake in the midst of everyday chaos."

In her other books and lectures, she talks about being tender hearted with the fear and practicing gentleness and loving-kindness towards ourselves when dealing with our fears and perceived flaws. Shortly after finishing meditation, I went to help out a friend at her fruit stand at our local farmer's market.  When I saw this white pomegranate there it seemed to visually reflect Chodron's lessons....

when fear breaks you open
do not run
rather stay sit and breathe
wondering at the tender places
you find
contained there are
the sweet seeds of awakening

Today my gratitude is to fear and the lessons it is teaching me.

Sarah McLachlan, "Fear":

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