We had a lovely time yesterday talking about the chapter in Pema Chodron’s book (The Wisdom of No Escape) titled “Joy.” Well, actually, several of us noted that when the buds are bursting out, the sun is shining, sometimes, as the poet T.S. Eliot wrote, “April is the cruelest month.” We feel down. And it’s painful to feel down when all seems joyful. The contrast is hard to take.
Pema says “The greatest obstacle to connecting with our joy is resentment.”
We resent the fact that we’re not as smart, rich, healthy, secure, whatever, as our neighbor. Or as we think we should be. It does no good to tell ourselves how wonderful the world is, how much we DO have.
So the practice is to sit, to watch how we label our feelings, to see if we can feel the texture below the label, to watch how that feeling and texture changes. Up and down, back and forth, things are always changing. As we look, often we begin to see gaps, open spaces between our thoughts, our preconceptions. This is the beginning of wisdom, of seeing.
One of Trungpa Rinpoche’s favorite sayings, as Pema remembers, is “You can do it.” The work requires dedication, but we can do it.