Thursday, January 28, 2010

I'm reading Pema Chodron again. Her thoughts on the idea of renunciation, an important Buddhist concept:

[Renunciation] has to do with letting go of holding back. What one is renouncing is closing down and shutting off from life. ... renunciation is seeing clearly how we hold back, how we pull away, how we shut down, how we close off, and then learning how to open. It's about saying yes to whatever is put on your plate, whatever knocks on your door, whatever calls you up on your telephone. ....The journey of awakening--the classical journey of the mythical hero or heroine--is one of continually coming up against big challenges [the things that make you freeze up] and then learning how to soften and open. In other words, the paralyzed quality seems to be hardening and refusing, and the letting go or the renunciation of that attitude is simply feeling the whole thing in your heart, letting it touch your heart. You soften and feel compassion for your predicament and for the whole human condition.
(from The Wisdom of No Escape, p. 51-53)


1 comment:

  1. Wow. Good stuff. A completely different view of renunciation than "doing without" or "coping with less." I like it.