Presence with All That Arises with Pema Chödrön

When asked to give a pith instruction on what it would feel like to be enlightened, the Buddha said, “In the hearing there is merely the hearing. In the seeing there is merely the seeing. In the thinking there is merely the thinking. In the sensing there is merely the sensing.” We see, we hear, we think, we sense, we have feelings and emotions, but there doesn’t have to be this strong sense of, “I see. I hear. I feel. My emotions. My thoughts.” Meditation moves us in the direction of being able to simply see, simply hear, simply sense, simply think (thoughts passing through), simply feel (emotions coming and going).

We train in being present with whatever arises in our experience, whether it is pain or pleasure, something agreeable or disagreeable. This is our path. We need to be mature about the fact that the terrain in which we are waking up is rough as well as smooth, churned up as well as calm, sour as well as sweet.

The challenge is to be completely present with whatever comes up and see what you discover.

Pema Chödrön

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Ani Pema Chödrön was born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown in 1936, in New York City. She attended Miss Porter's School in Connecticut and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. She...


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