Solace

I’m just going to leave this right here…

SOLACE

is the art of asking the beautiful question, of ourselves, of our world or one another, in fiercely difficult and un-beautiful moments. Solace is what we must look for when the mind cannot bear the pain, the loss or the suffering that eventually touches every life and every endeavor; when longing does not come to fruition in a form we can recognize, when people we know and love disappear, when hope must take a different form than the one we have shaped for it.

Solace is the beautiful, imaginative home we make where disappointment can go to be rehabilitated. When life does not in any way add up, we must turn to the part of us that has never wanted a life of simple calculation. Solace is found in allowing the body’s innate wisdom to come to the fore, the part of us that already knows it is mortal and must take its leave like everything else, and leading us, when the mind cannot bear what it is seeing or hearing, to the bird-song in the tree above our heads, even as we are being told of a death, each note an essence of morning and of mourning; of the current of a life moving on, but somehow, also, and most beautifully, carrying, bearing, and even celebrating the life we have just lost.

Solace is not an evasion nor a cure for our suffering, nor a made up state of mind. Solace is a direct seeing and participation; a celebration of the beautiful coming and going; appearance and disappearance of which we have always been a part.

Consolations, David Whyte

‘Nuff said.

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“The Realm of Hungry Ghosts”

If any of you have been following this blog for any amount of time, you’ll know that Tara Brach is my inspiration and my meditation guru (in an unofficial capacity). If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have this blog, I wouldn’t be training to become a meditation teacher, and my life would be significantly less mindful.

Beyond having some of the most peaceful guided meditations, my girl also does some amazing talks that help us really think about our actions and our thought processes. One of her recent ones, titled “The Realm of Hungry Ghosts” really resonated with me.

The realm of hungry ghosts sounds ethereal and abstract. But, what Tara explains and unpacks is the age-old concept that desire is the root of all suffering. In fact, desire is not the root of all suffering, it’s tied to existence and being. It’s as Tara says, getting caught in the desire is the real root of suffering.

As human beings we have attachments, addictions, and cycles that feed off themselves that eventually don’t allow us to feel for one moment that we’re exactly who we are supposed to be right now. Whether we realize it or not, we are constantly seeking out approval. Whether it be from our parents, from our bosses, from our friends, from our significant others, etc. The need to be continually satisfied, statements of “it’s not enough, I’m not enough, it’s not good enough” are frequently visited even if they’re not articulated as neatly as in those phrases.

But how liberating would it be to free ourselves of the desire to always be more than what we are right now? Or where we are right now? How freeing would it be to believe that we are exactly at the place we’re meant to be in this moment in time. How peaceful and calming would it be if we could instead of following our thoughts of “not-good-enough-ness” that we pay more attention to the space in between those thoughts. Somehow finding a way to acknowledge them and let them go in one beautiful fluid motion.

What if we stopped feeding our hungry ghosts, our dysfunctional attachments, our addictions, our need for constant reassurance, our negative self-talk?

Perhaps, those ghosts, could start to starve.