What if I embraced my life just as it is?

yoga and meditation-buddhism-pema chodron

Last week I finished the book, Living Beautifully With Uncertainty and Change by Pema Chodron.  In the book she speaks of 3 commitments the Buddhist students take:

1) The Commitment to Not Cause Harm

2) The Commitment to Take Care of One Another

3) The Commitment to Embrace the World Just As It Is

The last commitment stayed with me and I have been integrating these teachings into my life.

What would it be like to embrace ourselves and the world fully, just as they are?  What if we were to start living without the constant thoughts of future plans to change the current state of the world around us?

This week as I realized what a relief it would be to embrace my home, my partner, my chosen career and my community just as it was - I saw the beauty in what I already have.  

Pema describes:

"Each person's life is like a mandala - a vast, limitless circle.  We stand in the center of our circle, and everything we see, hear, and think forms the mandala of our life...Everything that shows up in your mandala is a vehicle for your awakening.  From this point of view, awakening is right at your fingertips, continually.  There's not a drop of rain or a pile of dog poop that appears in your life that isn't the manifestation of enlightened energy, that isn't a doorway to a sacred world."

"Embracing the world as it is" requires us to embrace the difficulty and challenges of life.  It is the opportunity to see every moment as a vehicle for awakening.

I thought about my daily life:  What was I resisting?  What could I embrace more fully? 

The resounding answer, as simple as it was:  Washing the dishes. 

I had slowly delegated the task of washing dishes to my partner without even talking about it.  I asked myself, "What if I took on this task as a vehicle for spiritual awakening?  What if I moved past my resistance and did this task with total loving awareness?" 

The first thing I did was buy some rubber gloves to protect my hands and make the job more tolerable.  I went on to wash all the dishes I made that day, even a few more that weren't even mine.

My partner noticed, "Meredith - you've been so helpful around the house today!  Thank you!" 

I just smiled and replied, "I'll send your thanks on to Pema Chodron."