November 29, 2011

Pema Chödrön vs. Marilyn Monroe.

“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” ~ Marilyn Monroe


Do we prize “truth” on its merits, or weigh it differently depending on the source?


“We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”
~ Pema Chödron

So which is it? Can you glean wisdom from an actress who “lived fast, died young, and left a beautiful corpse?” Or does wisdom need to come from someone dignified and educated, someone who has dedicated her life to teaching dharma?

Maybe we can make room for both. Maybe the truth is true wherever you find it. A graffiti scrawl, a lecture, a childish exclamation…even the longings of a desperately lost young Marilyn Monroe trying to make sense of life. Maybe in the midst of things falling apart, and coming together, and falling apart again, we learn where we can. We find our gurus wherever they show up. We don’t wait for the “right” conditions.

But don’t take my word for it:

“If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.”
~ Pema Chödron

Who was your most surprising teacher this week?


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Image: Marilyn Monroe: Wiki Commons