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  1. #1

    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. #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

  3. #3
    Quote 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)

  4. #4

    Thumbs up

    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

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

  6. #6
    Quote 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)

  7. #7

    Maybe I am wrong, or simple, or simply wrong, but

    If I could answer this, wouldn't I have to "kill Buddha" ?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Spratt
    "How does Matt manage to stay positive... enduring constant, endless, pain as well as being quadreplegic ?"
    Good question/exploration. Mantras are something I live on, probably none more than this question. How to stay positive? Maybe that goes against the "no 'I'" thing. The tougher the times, the bigger I have to make my 'I'. Acknowledging self-worth is a first step, for me. Acceptance of what is. Resolve that I'm not gonna let this control me. It takes willpower and self-discipline. I lean on past circumstances to reinforce that. I have to have confidence in myself - after all, who cares more about me than me? However, I have to admit that I have failed at this in much worse ways than been able to succeed - suicide cannot be counted as success. My 1/2¢, for the moment.

  8. #8
    Quote 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

  9. #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; 03-29-2007 at 10:08 PM.

  10. #10
    Quote 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)

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