To reword Pema Chodron’s thoughts on WHEN THINGS FALL APART, the ancient teachings of Tibetan Buddhism offers a gentle and intelligent guidance that we stand to gain during those times when all seems to be lost. Chodron reframes those moments of acute despair as opportunities for befriending life by befriending ourselves in the deepest sense.
It is a matter of becoming intimate or familiar with fear. It is a complete undoing of old ways of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and thinking. Bravery is not the absence of fear BUT THE INTIMACY OF FEAR. By doing this we gain humility, there will be no room for arrogance that holds onto ideals. In essence this is the hard work of befriending ourselves. Then our deepest strength arises.
The healing comes from letting there be room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy. Life is a good teacher and a good friend. In life things are always in transition, realizing such, we can open our HEARTS AND MINDS beyond one’s imagination.
Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos and learning not to panic—this is the spiritual path. We can be with what’s happening and not disconnect. THAT MOMENT IS THE PERFECT TEACHER.
Remaining present and near with the moment requires mastering the practice of loving -kindness toward oneself. The most difficult art of self-compassion. Here we are not trying to solve a problem, or make pain go away, or to become a better person. In fact, we are giving up control. Whatever occurs is not the beginning nor the end. In the midst of loneliness, fear, feeling misunderstood is the HEARTBEAT OF ALL THINGS.
We don’t set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how others are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people’s HEARTS.
Ron Winnegrad has been a Perfumer and teacher for 46 years. As a perfumer, Ron has been able to express the world he sees through a rainbow of olfactive and emotive visions. As a teacher, Ron has helped others to see fragrance through his own multi sensorial lens.