Getting to a Place That’s Really Swell ~ Pema Chödrön

Rain Sunset-©CountryWomanPaints
Rain in the Sunset

We have not yet slid off the mountain…

That is to say we might. I’ve just heard there is more rain plowing our way tonight. What that seems to actually mean is more rain may come at any time and last ALL night!

But it is glorious to see the dusty dry brown hillsides become greener than I’ve ever seen. Already wildflowers are peeking forth as it’s been on the warm side almost the entire time.

It looks to be a lovely spring to come.

Winter Sunrise

Recently I read a quote from wise Pema Chödrön that spoke deeply to me.
Suffering is not something to avoid but to embrace as simply part of life itself.
Without judgement, admittedly difficult, we see more clearly…

When things fall apart and we’re on the verge of we know not what, the test for each of us is to stay on that brink and not concretize. The spiritual journey is not about heaven and finally getting to a place that’s really swell. In fact, that way of looking at things is what keeps us miserable. Thinking that we can find some lasting pleasure and avoid pain is what in Buddhism is called samsara, a hopeless cycle that goes round and round endlessly and causes us to suffer greatly.

The very first noble truth of the Buddha points out that suffering is inevitable for human beings as long as we believe that things last—that they don’t disintegrate, that they can be counted on to satisfy our hunger for security. From this point of view, the only time we ever know what’s really going on is when the rug’s been pulled out and we can’t find anywhere to land. We use these situations either to wake ourselves up or to put ourselves to sleep. Right now—in the very instant of groundlessness—is the seed of taking care of those who need our care and of discovering our goodness.


19 thoughts on “Getting to a Place That’s Really Swell ~ Pema Chödrön

  1. Hope you fair well through the rain. We are so glad for it, too. Even if we get flooding down the hill. Happy Holidays and wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year!

    1. Happy New Year to you too. Yes, we are fairing well… it is quite blustery tonight and suppose it will pour later but the forecast is for a warming and drying out in a few days. That will be nice for Bella who is really 3 furry dogs put into one… 🙂

  2. Discovering our goodness, that’s what it is all about. Thank you for sharing and have a peaceful holiday without a mud slide.

    1. Thank you… no, there will be no mud slides, just lots of slip-sliding along in the car today. Looking forward to the New Year and some warming and drying in the next few days, if the weather report is correct. May your holiday be bright!

  3. I’ve been keeping tabs….so I’ve not been too worried. Besides, you DID ask for help with the rain situation. LOL. Did you mention “moderation” in that request? 😉
    Awww, but it sounds like it’s nourished the ground. Already you have wildflowers!! We have….frozen dead grass. :-/

    And this quote…priceless wisdom that I need to etch in my brain. This is NOT a permanent state. That’s such a joy to know time and time again.

    1. Yes, be careful what you ask for… had no idea we were in for days and weeks of wet weather but it shall be years to undo our drought. 😦 every drop counts and more importantly, some snow pack that is now up there in the Sierras. We have the beginnings of seedlings popping thru here. Of course we haven’t got the snow as you do… in fact, snow is not something i like and couldn’t live in it, i’m sure.

      So happy this quote spoke to you today, my dear. It spoke to me as well. xox

      1. We have snow?! Notsomuch….not yet. But we’re just hitting the winter solstice, so there’s plenty of time to bring on the white stuff. So what we have is dead, frozen grass….with the rumor that we might have a white Christmas. Pfffttt….I say bring on a blizzard. I have a gallon of cider and new cinnamon sticks, bring it on!!! 😀

      2. ((((( Linda ))))) Happy Christmas to you and yours.

        1. Happy happy happiest of new years, dear mel! xox

  4. I am thankful for the rain in our parched state of California. Pema rocks! Suffering is good as a possibility to awaken. Otherwise it’s miserable and we are miserable. I bow to suffering.

    1. Yes, I submit to suffering as well. I’ve not found it beneficial to do otherwise. Try as I might to see it as teaching, I do succumb to inevitable weeping and gnashing of teeth!! 😉

      Have a wonderful holiday! We will look forward to a new year in better health for all… in all ways. And Peace…

      1. I must say that to see suffering as a teaching doesn’t mean that we do not all succumb and dissolve into a puddle on the floor. At that juncture your only salvation is to forgive yourself and get up and start over. Everything is OK always.😌

        1. i like your last sentence, treasure it actually. yes, isn’t forgiving ourselves key… i’ve come to finally fully realize i too deserve my own compassion. sometimes we are hardest upon ourselves without even knowing it.


          1. Love and hugs L’Adelaide.

  5. Linda, I’m so glad to hear that you’ve got the much-needed rain on your beautiful property.

    And how true that there’s no point wasting the learning experiences of our valleys by not being truly present in them.

    Blessings ~ Wendy ❀

  6. Thanks for all your comments throughout the year. May 2015 bring you joy, peace and health and happiness.
    I do have fun with coors,

    1. You are a lovely friend, Silvia. I appreciate you have persevered with the silly WP issues when leaving comments here. I think it seems to be going more smoothly but I do have an anonymous comment left me on the painting post I thought was you…. Now I don’t think it IS you! I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually. 😉

      May 2015 bring you all you desire and more! xoxox

  7. Happy New Year L’Adelaide!

    Hariod. ❤

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