Today’s inspiration comes from Pema Chodron, particularly an entry in her book called Comfortable with Uncertainty. Before I launch into it, I should qualify that I am currently developing a training experience for leaders that would help them be just that: comfortable with uncertainty. Would that not be fabulous??? For that I say, “I’ll have what she’s having!!”
Back to Pema: she informs us that learning not to cause harm to ourselves or others is a basic Buddhist teaching and that nonaggression has the power to heal. Check. Not harming ourselves or others is the basis of enlightened society she says; check. “The most fundamental aggession to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.” Wow. There is such power to four of those words: courage; respect; honestly; gently. I think “gently” gets the prize for the concept that I needed to hear the most.
More good news: “The ground of not causing harm is mindfulness, a sense of clear seeing with respect and compassion for what it is we see.” I find myself in need of the reminder of the power of mindfulness and related meditation practice as avenues for this level of compassion. But wait. It gets even better:
“It’s a lifetime’s journey to relate honestly to the immediacy of our experience and to respect ourselves enough not to judge it.”
This I want. I want it for me, I want it for my family, I want it for my clients, I want it for the world. Do you know how immensely powerful life can be when we are capable of exercising that muscle of non-judgment? Have you ever had the experience of being in a room of people who love you deeply and the last thing they would ever do is judge you for ANYTHING???? I have. It’s incredible. Everyone should have the opportunity for this, and it IS possible. One of the avenues is through mindfulness, creating the time and space for awareness in our lives. This conscious act of increasing our awareness around something can provide us with insights, and when looking at judgment, we may notice that there are times when we have been harsh with ourselves. Should we arrive there, I believe we are receiving an invitation to hold ourselves without judgment and to replace those impulses with kindness and gentleness. A commitment to this kind of journey is certainly worth considering for any of us who truly do want to see an enlightened world. Thank you, dearest Pema.