Monday, November 16, 2009

Hearing Anger's Call

By evening, the frustration I had felt during morning meditation, had grown into full blown anger. There was no mistaking. Body filled with hot energy, and insides seared with caustic brew, called for some urgent minding. Sitting in my favorite chair, eyes wide open, as I let myself feel the anger, completely, I heard a call to step out of my usual ways. There was light, and a loving presence that I had never before encountered. So excited I was, I had to share it in a tweet: 'sitting in silence, I almost heard the One whisper, I am here always - I swear, I did - anger was there also'.

Still fresh from this extraordinary moment, I fortuitously stumbled, upon these words from Jack Kornfield - from 'Letting Go into Our Freedom' chapter, in his book, 'Soul Food' -
In traveling this path of inner transformation, we are encouraged to let go of everything, to relinquish every form of clinging. We are encouraged to let go of preoccupations with the past, investment in the future, and clinging in the present. We are encouraged to renounce our images, expectations, fears, and guilt. We are taught that holding is the path to limitation, letting go the direct path to awakening. This letting go is what allows us to be fully present here rather than occupied with what was or what we hope for.

It may feel like a severe and formidable teaching. We may wonder if there will be anything of meaning left to us after this letting go. We may fear that we will be left passionless, empty, and directionless when we have let go of everything that used to define us. We have learned to equate being without with deprivation and being alive with loneliness. If this total letting go is the price of freedom, we may doubt if we are prepared or even able to pay it. Yet our openness repays us at every step.

In spiritual life there is no room for compromise. Awakening is non negotiable; we cannot bargain to hold on to things that please us while relinquishing things that do not matter to us. A lukewarm yearning for awakening is not enough to sustain us through the difficulties involved in letting go. It is important to understand that anything that can be lost was never truly ours, anything that we deeply cling to only imprisons us.
Yes, I have been trying to bargain with the Buddha. It ain't going to work. Anger won't let me.

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