The Wisdom of No Escape

My dear friend Erik Liberman turned me onto Pema Chodron's work recently. Pema is an American Buddhist nun and one of the foremost students of Chogyam Tungpa, a very renowned meditation master. She teaches in Cape Breton at Gampo Abbey in the first Tibetan monastery in North America established for's in the wilds of Nova Scotia and sounds like an amazing place to study meditation with a woman who appears (in her books) to have a wonderful take on the absurdities of the human condition. Pema teaches that instead of viewing our perceived faults such as jealousy, envy, anger and impatience as negatives, we should simply understand that those qualities are part of what makes up "us" and we should try to get to know ourselves in a loving and forgiving manner, simply noticing these characteristics and taking note of them but not beating ourselves up over it or them. I realize that I am bastardizing her ideology into a very basic thought and I mean no disrespect ...but that's the kernel I took away from her book "The Wisdom of no escape". That and a better way to meditate..when the annoying voices start to interrupt me I simply label them "thinking" , not in a non judgmental way... instead of getting all worked up over the fact that I cannot shut my brain up!

I know that I am ripe for comments such as "she must be going through a mid life crisis and is in search of a spiritual answer" what with me going to Agape and jumping into Buddhism, meditation and all sorts of things on a regular basis..but the truth is that I have always wanted to get out of my head and out of the ego. Even when I was a kid I would meditate only I didn't call it that. I had the ability to leave my body and fly when I was a kid...astral travel some call it. I would lie on my bed and start to feel all tingly then suddenly I would pop out of my body and look down on what appeared to be my sleeping form. I would then fly through the roof and out into the sky, usually a night sky filled with stars. Maybe I was dreaming but to me it was all very, very real and I got to the point where I could do it when I wanted to, I could make myself do it during the day or night. Somewhere around the age of 14 I lost it and I have missed that gift ever since. I would always come back from my little travels stronger, calmer and more confident. Who knows, perhaps that's what I am looking for now, a way to send my soul on a little trip while my body waits patiently for me to come back home.