Sunday, December 09, 2007

Gratitude 12/9/07

Tonight I am grateful for Pema Chodron. The following quote is from the beginning of Start Where You Are, a book I've been reading for a while. I'm sure I'll be posting more quotes, since I keep marking things I want to share.

We already have everything we need. There is no need for self-improvement. All these trips that we lay on ourselves -- the heavy-duty fearing that we're bad and hoping that we're good, the identities that we so dearly cling to, the rage, the jealousy, and the addictions of all kinds -- never touch our basic wealth. They are like clouds that temporarily block the sun. But all the time our warmth and brilliance are right here. This is who we really are. We are one blink of an eye from being fully awake.

Looking at ourselves this way is very different from our usual habit. From this perspective we don't need to change: you can feel as wretched as you like, and you're still a good candidate for enlightenment. You can feel like the world's most hopeless basketcase, but that feeling is your wealth, not something to be thrown out or improved upon. There's a richness to all of the smelly stuff that we so dislike and so little desire. The delightful things -- what we love so dearly about ourselves, the places in which we feel some sense of pride or inspiration -- these are also our wealth.

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