Bodhichitta is a Sanskrit word meaning “Awakened Heart.” It is said to exist in each and every one of us. Pema Chodron, a famous Buddhist nun, says, “In difficult times it is the bodhichitta that heals. When inspiration has been hidden, when we feel ready to give up, this is the time when healing can be found in the tenderness of pain itself.” This may seem like an unusual way to heal the heart, but I believe there is great value in accepting pain, suffering and
discomfort. As we all know, life is not always pleasant. We are taught from a young age to be happy and avoid suffering. We strive to be perfect in whatever we do in life. Never really being content with what we have because we are trying to be perfect in an imperfect world.
Pema Chodron tells us that everything that occurs is not only usable and workable but is actually the path itself. We can use everything that happens to us as a lesson or a wake-up call. Perhaps not saying to yourself, why me? Use your misfortune as a tool to awaken your heart. Do not judge, do not belittle, instead take the road less traveled by so many of us and accept. Move on with the suffering as a life lesson. My mother used to say, “God does not give us what we can’t handle.” I still question this statement.
To begin, start by finding love, kindness and compassion for yourself. So often, we are giving love to someone else when in fact your first love should start with you! If you start with a basic loving kindness towards yourself, you will then be able to extend this to all beings. Get out of your head and stop thinking so much. You have everything you need. We are all on the road to self-improvement and yet we are already beautiful, vibrant human beings. You are full of warmth and light; all you have to do is love yourself for who you are.
Recently, I went to a meditation workshop and found so much happiness sitting with my breath. It was basic and for beginners like myself, but so profound and advanced. For so many people, meditation is boring and makes no sense. There is no time in their day because there is so much to do and they just don’t like it. For others, they have read how positive and healthy it is, so they are trying to start a practice. It is advisable to start meditating with someone who has experience to help guide you. From there you can begin your own personal practice when you are comfortable with discomfort.
Meditation is a practice so you must do it even when you don’t want to. For me it is about using the breath and the body to get to the mind. Don’t let your mind control you, take the time to control your mind through meditation. It is not easy and may cause uneasiness. However, there is this place they call the “Present Moment” and it is truly a gift that removes all the obstacles and struggles on your path. It is part of your journey if you choose to be truly kind and compassionate to yourself. You will begin to find your joy that is already in your heart. Yes, the heart is the secret to finding happiness and contentment.
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