When Things Fall Apart

I have been reading the book "When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times" by the American Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön because of my own difficult situation which doesn't seem so difficult after all.  Most of the tsunami videos you see show destruction lasting perhaps, 10 minutes.  Entire villages wiped out in that short time.  In the book, which is a series of edited lectures, Pema Chödrön says you must give up any sense of security and embrace groundlessness.  When I see tsunami pictures and videos I think of her challenge to give up security and embrace groundlessness:
"If hope and fear are two sides of one coin, so are hopelessness and confidence.  If we're willing to give up hope that insecurity and pain can be exterminated, then we can have the courage to relax with the groundlessness of our situation.  This is the first step on the path."

This challenge seems almost impossible to me but I think of it when I see the pictures and videos of the destruction.  And what is to be embraced?  What can be done in the face of such frightening insecurity in the universe?  She goes on to lecture that it is bodhichitta (sanscrit for 'noble or awakened heart').  She lectures:

"We awaken this bodhichitta, this tenderness for life, when we can no longer shield ourselves from the vulnerability of our condition, from the basic fragility of existence.  In the words of the sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa,  'You take it all in.  You let the pain of the world touch your heart and you turn it into compassion.'
It is said that in difficult times, it is only bodhichitta that heals.  When inspiration has become hidden, when we feel ready to give up, this is the time when healing can be found in the tenderness of pain itself.  This is the time to touch the genuine heart of bodhichitta.  In the midst of loneliness, in the midst of fear, in the middle of feeling misunderstood and rejected is the heartbeat of all things, the genuine heart of sadness."


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