Tag Archives: awakened heart

Impermanence on the Fly

In the absence of mindfulness, there is an amassing of thought, akin to its counterpart in nature, ponding, the pooling of unwanted waters.

In ponding, we cast about the past and the future rather than “living richly in the present” (Sylvia Plath). Stagnant pools these waters.Wondering 0614

To live where water is on the flow and impermanence on the fly is the life experience. It is living mindfully, an endless practice.

The mindful life may be the most difficult one. Staying open to change, trusting in its inevitability, greeting its flow with an open heart.

Yet, “the changes we dread most may contain our salvation” (Barbara Kingsolver).

Eternal is the rhythm of tide and time, the essence of living richly in the present.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity in daily doses. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page. 

 

The Firm Delicacy of Forgiveness

Mindset is our certainty, our bank of experience. We count on it; even trust it, as we should. Yet, certainty settles in so easily.

At the very least, mindset is a leitmotif of aimforeven.com. Each daily dose is its own energy, a pursuit of an evenness of mind no matter the experience, including change.

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Spiderwort

Even transformation has its beginning as a moment.

And every daily dose that follows requires patience and often includes forgiveness, the ability to let go of the debt that accrues from regret.

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”* There is a firm delicacy in a violet petal forgiving the heel that crushes the life out of it.

The fragrance will dissipate but it lasts longer than life. The debt is forgiven in the transformation.

A mindset, too, evaporates when there is no regret of what has been.

*Though often attributed to Mark Twain (since the 1970s), the quotation is an evolving compilation with origins in the late 19th century.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity in daily doses. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page. 

 

To Know the Tenderness of Pain

When we are rigid with fear, anger, or hurt— pain that requires action–we want to fight back. Give as good or maybe even better as was done to us.

That is pretty much our human history, be it political elections or world war. We cannot seem to break this habit of my way or the highway.

We might consider bodhichitta, a Sanskrit word translated as “noble or awakened heart.” Buddhists believe bodhichitta is the “genuine heart [that is] inherent in all beings.”

Every. Single. Being. On. This. Planet.

No matter how committed we are to unkindness, selfishness, or greed,

the genuine heart of the bodhichitta cannot be lost.

It is here in all that lives, never marred and completely whole.

(Pema Chodron)

Think of it. Bodhichitta is within us and has been all along, a genuine heart that withstands the tenor of any time and is especially effective in uncertain days, like these.

Bodhichitta may seem too good to believe. Yet, we write story after story about the awakened heart—the flawed hero who makes good. The genuine heart of the bodhichitta may be our all-time favorite plot line.

On some level, we still believe in the soft spot of the awakened heart. The noble will soften the hardened. After all, it does happen.

It took me most of my 64 years to touch my soft spot. Oh, I still rant and rave—even cry–for to live is to know pain but I no longer hold onto it.

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I find Wendell Berry’s “peace of wild things… and rest in the grace of the world.”

Just as a jewel that has been buried in the earth for 1 million years

is not discolored or harmed, in the same way this noble heart is

not affected by all of our kicking and screaming.

A jewel can be brought out into the light at any time,

and it will glow as brilliantly as if nothing had ever happened.

(Pema Chodron)

Eventually, a sliver of light becomes a beacon, sometimes a rainbow, but light nonetheless. In opening my heart with tenderness, I connect with the pain of all other beings.

Equanimity knows no enemies; compassion only kindness. Unconditional love.

(All excerpts are from Pema Chodron’s When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times)

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity in daily doses. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.