Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Warrior's Approach

"If we hope to open our heart to all of the world, we must leave nothing out. Freedom and awakening are only found exactly where we are. If we wish to love God we must also learn to love each of His creations - including ourselves, in all our complexity and imperfection. " (Jack Kornfield in "After the Ecstacy, the Laundry")

"I am large, I contain multitudes." (Walt Whitman)

Lately, I've wanted things to go my way. I get frustrated - significantly and ridiculously frustrated - when this should be that, and this thing should go that way. In fact I've been pretty down for a while because I've had this image in my head of the way things should be (ie, "I really need more free time," "Why can't I keep on top of the things I need to do," etc.).

But it's starting to dawn on me (thanks in part to the Kornfield book mentioned above) - I've compartmentalized and segmented "what is." I'm playing favorites with all of "God's creations" when I choose a clean car over a messy car, a simple schedule over a busy schedule, happiness over sadness - actually anything over anything else. It is all part of, as Zorba the Greek put it, "the whole catastrophe." Failures, stresses, messes, and negativity are no less part of the whole that makes up LIFE.

Peace is seeing perfection in what is rather than what you/I think it should be. Peace is acceptance of messy emotions and unforeseen circumstances. Peace is seeing the divine in an unmowed yard or half-finished project. Peace is surfing on top of life's wave of up and downs, rather than drowning in it.

This isn't fatalism or an excuse to cease trying to do or change anything. But it is a mature response when your attempts are futile or when things don't go as planned. It is a surrender to let life unfold as it will.

"The warrior's approach is to say "yes"to life: "yea" to it all.” (Joseph Campbell)


isaiah said...

I relate. I've been experiencing the same lately...

I'll have to pick up the Jack Kornfield book.

Thanks for posting this.

jaxun said...

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can't change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

Doesn't matter how many times I say it, never loses its power.