Friday, December 19, 2008

Red pill

In reflecting on my few days at Spirit Rock last week, I have to allow that I spent most of the nine or so sitting sessions each day in various degrees of discomfort, generally increasing from the first day to the second, from the second to the third. And also generally increasing from early morning to late morning to afternoon to evening.

Recounting this fact to a friend elicited this question: “Why would you think positively about such an experience?”

In listening to a dharma talk recording this evening, I think I heard an approximation of an answer to that question: it’s possible to reach a point where you’re no longer afraid of being afraid. You’re not averse to feeling aversion.

* * *

During the retreat, one of the teachers, Mary Grace Orr, read the following poem, though I don’t remember who she said wrote it. Unfortunately, as you’ll see, it doesn’t lend itself to google searches:

What is is
Is what I want –
Just that,
But that.