Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cultivating Suffering

In my freshman year of undergrad, I knew that a wanted to major in philosophy.

I told my folks that it was a legitimate vehicle to get to law know the whole development of critical, analytical thinking skills...but the truth is, I just really loved delving into the minds of amazing thinkers...especially, the eastern ones. 

Which is why when I stumbled upon a Thich Nhat Hanh passage the other day, I was instantly transported back to my tiny dorm room, my idealistic thoughts, and my dreams of saving the world.

The present day passage is from one of his newer books, "Your True Home" and goes something like this...

"The tendency to run away from suffering is there in every one of us.  We think that by seeking pleasure we'll avoid suffering.  But this doesn't work.  It stunts our growth and happiness. Deeply connecting with our pain is the only way to truly cultivate compassion and love."

And here I am meditating yet again on beautiful, powerful thoughts that seem to name my life completely.  I'm being stretched thinly.  I'm barely hanging on trying to be all that I can be.  And yet, I'm certain that in these very experiences of suffering, frustration, exhaustion, weakness, and vulnerability that light is being shed and I am growing.  I am connecting.  I am being refined.

So instead of running from the craziness of it all....I should be running toward it.  Embracing it.  Cultivating the suffering, so as to better feel the love.

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