“Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found. You are the sky. Everything else… It’s just the weather.
(photograph by me, Kathryn Howlett)
If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher. The only reason we don’t open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don’t feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with.
To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else’s eyes.
Feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back.
They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.”
The past two mornings the early sky has been lackluster in brilliant sunrise color here in central NYS. Cloudy, rainy weather. Yesterday before I opened my eyes, it was the sound of rain that sang to me. A few birds intent on singing in the rain, sang in perfect call and response. This morning it was the sound of a woodpecker tat-tatting on the siding outside my open door. Occasionally he would whinny or give a sharp pik sound. A noisy alarm for sure.
Today I read the above quote by Pema Chodron and I thought I would share. I love the imagery that we are the sky and everything else is just weather. It reminds me of a guided meditation I do sometimes: Sky Like Mind, by Jill Satterfield:
No matter what, we are the sky, or have “sky like mind”, and the weather just passes through. Watch the weather float, sail, storm, drift, fly, thunder, fall from the sky. And then it is changed or gone. And the sky remains. More weather will come. And go. And there will be the sky. Unchanged for all the hail, sleet, snow, rain, thunder, lightening, wind, clouds…..just the sky.
Lean in to the weather, don’t back away, this moment is our perfect teacher.