Pema Chodron on how to dissolve our tendency toward Drama.
Life is but a dream…
Okay, time for commentary from someone who actually knows what they’re talking about.
Yes: Pema Chodron:
…simply, regard everything as a dream. Life is a dream. Death is also a dream, for that matter; waking is a dream and sleeping is a dream. Another way to put this is: “Every situation is a passing memory”.
It is said that with these slogans that are pointing to absolute truth—openness—one should not say “Oh, yes, I know,” but that one should just allow a mental gap to open, and wonder, “Could it be? Am I dreaming this?” Pinch yourself. Dreams are just as convincing as waking reality. You could begin to contemplate the fact that things are not as solid or as reliable as they seem.
Have you ever been caught in the heavy-duty scenario of feeling defeated and hurt, and then somehow, for no particular reason, you just drop it? It just goes, and you wonder why you made “Much ado about nothing.” What was that all about? It also happens when you fall in love with somebody; you’re so completely into thinking about the person twenty-four hours a day. You are haunted and you want him or her so badly. Then a little while later, “I don’t know where we went wrong, but the feeling’s gone and I just can’t get it back.” We all know this feeling of how we make things a big deal and then realize that we’re making a lot out of nothing.
Gentleness in our practice…is like remembering something. This compassion, this clarity, this openness are like something we’ve forgotten. Sitting here being gentle with ourselves, we’re rediscovering something. It’s like a mother reuniting with her child; having been lost to each other for a long, long time, they reunite. The way to reunite with Bodhicitta is to lighten up in your practice and in your whole life.
That’s the essential meaning of the absolute Bodhicitta slogans—to connect with the open, spacious quality of your mind, so that you can see that there’s no need to shut down and make such a big deal about everything.
From Start Where You Are : A Guide to Compassionate Living by Pema Chodron, Copyright 1994, Shambhala Publications.