Ox Herding posted a great video by Pema Chodron talking about “This Lousy World”:
It’s great because it applies to just about anyone at just about anytime. The thought that all our problems are because of something else, someone else, always outside of ourselves, is difficult to get away from. I’d been realizing this more than ever over the past few weeks. Spiritual practice seems that much more difficult mixed with the exhaustion factor of having a new born in your life, and I’ve found myself getting frustrated even more easily lately than I had before. As ChongGo Sunim pointed out to me, frustration levels can be a good reflection of or spiritual practice. We get frustrated because we want a situation to be different, we are dissatisfied. It made me realize that maybe it isn’t really the exhaustion that’s making me more frustrated than usual, maybe it’s just that I’m not used to having a crying baby next to my bed and even though, as far as babies go, she’s really not that bad, I would still much prefer if she never cried at all!!! As Pema’s talk suggests, I could literally cover my ears in leather (it would be much more fatherly than my first urge to cover the baby’s mouth!) or even better, I could see my baby as the greatest teacher in my life right now, giving me the opportunity to face frustration within and not be bothered, not be moved, which is what Pema Chodron is really getting at.
I’ve been finding myself in a sort of awkward place in my practice. I’ve been becoming more and more aware of my ignorance and my delusions causing my suffering or dissatisfaction faster than I’ve been taking the steps to overcome them. Perhaps it’s my own complacency or even laziness, but it’s been more humbling than anything else I’ve experienced. I’ve even realized I had a fair amount of pride in the little humility I thought there was! Hopefully this will be a place I can start to really grow from. The Dalai Lama reminds us that there are no easy ways. Our effort will be the same as our results. It’s time to stop thinking about the path and start walking it!
For a little response to Pema’s talk, here’s Kermit with his reflections on Dukka, reminding us that no matter who you are, it’s not always easy!: