I recently watch an inspirational video that I felt I must share with you.
Don’t be put off by the title – the message is profound.
Pema Chödrön is an American Tibetan Buddhist.
She is an ordained nun, acharya and disciple of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.
Now to be honest…I don’t really know what that means, by I do know you should watch this short video of Pema Chödrön’s talk, “Lousy world”
Her powerful talk draws the distinction between living in this world constantly annoyed and disappointed over things you can’t change versus adopting the useful belief to only focus on changing things that you can control.
“This lousy world, those lousy people, the lousy government, lousy weather, this lousy everything… lousy blah blah blah… It’s too hot in here, it’s too cold!… They’re too fat next to me and they’re wearing perfume and I’m allergic to perfume.”
It’s like being barefooted and walking across blazing-hot sand or across cut glass, or in a field with thorns.
And your feet are bare and you say, “This is just too hard. It’s really hurting, it’s terrible, it’s too sharp, it’s too painful, it’s too hot.”
But then you have a great idea!
You’re just going to cover everywhere you go with leather. And then it won’t hurt your feet anymore.
Spreading leather everywhere you go so you can cover the pain is like saying:
“I’m going to get rid of her and get rid of him. I’m going to get the temperature right, and I’m going to ban perfume in the world, and then there will be nothing that bothers me anywhere. I am going to get rid of everything that bothers me, anywhere in the world, including mosquitos and then I will be a very happy, content person.”
We’re laughing, but it’s what we all do.
That is how we approach things.
We think if we could just get rid of them or cover it with leather, our pain would go away.
Well sure, because then it wouldn’t be cutting our feet anymore. It’s just logical, isn’t it?
But it doesn’t make any sense really.
As Indian Buddhist monk Shantideva said,
“You could simply wrap the leather around your feet, in other words, if you put on shoes then you could walk across the boiling sand and the cut glass and the thorns, and it wouldn’t bother you.
So the lesson is, if you work with your mind, instead of trying to change everything on the outside, that’s how your temper will cool down.”
Remember, anything that you can’t control is really teaching you how to let go.
Now it’s up to you.
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