A Window is Where the Wall is Absent

The life impulse to express and to connect arises in me and in all of us. This blog is a celebration of these life impulses. Please feel free to join in the conversation or to just visit. There is a Family Photo Album beneath the posts so you can "meet" my family and I. Welcome!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Soft Spot

I've been listening to Pema Chodron CD's my sisters Val and Cindy sent to me, and Pema talks about a "soft spot." Listening, it begins to dawn on me that maybe I've been running away from and trying to plaster over this soft place I feel in my heart, and maybe I've been going in the wrong direction. It's odd when the very spot I've been trying to escape may turn out to be the doorway to where I want to be.

I googled "Trungpa Rinpoche soft spot" and this is what came up:

"Real fearlessness is the product of tenderness. It comes from letting the world tickle your heart, your raw heart. You are willing to open up, without resistance or shyness, and face the world."
Trungpa Rinpoche, The Sacred Path of the Warrior

"Without realizing it we continually shield ourselves from this pain because it scares us. ... These walls are further fortified by emotions of all kinds: anger, craving, indifference, jealousy and envy, arrogance and pride. But fortunately for us, the soft spot - our innate ability to love and to care about things - is like a crack in these walls we erect. It's a natural opening in the barriers we create when we're afraid. With practice we can learn to find this opening. We can seize the vulnerable moment - love, gratitude, loneliness, embarrassment, inadequacy - to awaken bodhichitta."
Pema Chodron

This soft spot is something visceral, it can be directly felt beneath the armor of the mind. I'm feeling into it quietly, letting it guide me silently past the barriers, to more intimate contact with the actual presence of life in this moment. It's the soft things, like water, like the green leaf through the sidewalk, that tremble with real power. Thank you Val and Cindy for sending these CD's and helping me find the way back to myself.

4 comments:

roseduncan said...

Exposure can be both exhilarating and terrifying, finding that there are feelings you haven't looked at . . . well that's what life's about. And what makes it so difficult too. Brave of you, I'd say.

Cindy said...

And to find the feelings of tenderness you haven't looked at. I like that too. I think about this stuff a lot especially listening to Pema Chodran CDs and talking to Val and typing your journal Colleen. I can't possibly articulate all the understandings I have been having. :)

Val said...

Yes, I contemplate this vulnerability a hundred times a day it seems - watch my resistance and rush to protect. Pema really encourages me to try to stap with gentleness. I'm so glad you are enjoying the CDs!

Colleen Loehr said...

It's great to read your comments (I've been computer-less for a few days and am just now getting back to you). I agree that exposure can be both exhilarating and terrifying- putting oneself out on a limb. This reminds me of a Mark Twain saying, "You might as well go out on a limb, that's where all the fruit is." Exposure, vulnerability, amounts to being real, unguarded, and therefore at risk for both rejection and connection. I'm looking at the difference between candor and exhibitionism. Candor and self-disclosure foster bonding, whereas exhibitionism only begs attention. It's amazing to me recently to realize that under my anger are feelings of tenderness, in fact, anger, for me, is a rapid fire way of avoiding feelings of pain and tenderness. Jack is here, time to sign off. Thank you Naomi, Cindy, and Val for your comments!

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Greetings. I am a psychiatrist working at a state hospital, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at University of Missouri Medical School. I am also a wife and mother of three grown children. Qigong has profoundly changed my life for the better. I am interested in connecting with other people interested in qigong.

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