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Resting in the Middle

“As human beings, not only do we seek resolution, but we also feel that we deserve resolution.  However, not only do we not deserve resolution, we suffer from resolution.  We don’t deserve resolution; we deserve something better than that.  We deserve our birthright, which is the middle way, an open state of mind that can relax with paradox and ambiguity.  To the degree that we’ve been avoiding uncertainty, we’re naturally going to have withdrawal symptoms – withdrawal from always thinking that there’s a problem and that someone, somewhere needs to fix it.” ~ Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart

I’m sharing this piece from Pema’s book because it is one of the most significant things I have learned and continue to learn through my meditation practice – to rest in and experience the moments that feel totally uncomfortable and difficult.  It requires constant practice because it is so tempting to run away or want to fix.  My deepest learning has come from just staying right there in the midst of what is hot and heavy without seeking any resolution or even hope.  This is not to say hope or resolution cannot arise, but we rob ourselves of our very human experience and deeper wisdom when we seek either impulsively.  As challenging as this is, it is something I am committed to working on as best I can.


2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Whilst I appreciate the concept of this, sometimes things simply do need addressing or ‘fixing’. For example, if you are in dire financial straits, or if you have a problem that requires medical attention, or if your life is in danger; I cannot see the benefit of sitting in the middle of it all without doing something about it.

    August 29, 2014
    • Yes, I completely agree! There are situation and moments that require immediate action, but I do think, in my experience, it’s easy to apply immediate action more often than not if we are not discerning. And this can result in feeling less skillful and more reactive. Thank you for reading & commenting! I appreciate your thoughts.

      August 29, 2014

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