Sangha notes for 7-17-17

Steve shared a reading from Comfortable with Uncertainty by Pema Chodron:
“When the bottom is falling out we might suddenly recall the slogan, ‘If you practice even when distracted, you are well-trained.’ If we can practice when we’re jealous, resentful, scornful, when we hate ourselves, then we are well-trained. Again, practice means not continuing to strengthen the habitual patterns that keep us trapped; doing anything we can to shake up and ventilate our self-justification and blame. We do our best to stay with the strong energy without acting out or repressing. In so doing, our habits become more porous.
Our patterns are, of course, well-established, seductive, and comforting. Just wishing for them to be ventilated isn’t enough. Mindfulness and awareness are key. Do we see the stories that we’re telling ourselves and question their validity? When we are distracted by a strong emotion, do we remember that it is part of our path? Can we feel the emotion and breathe it into our hearts for ourselves and everyone else? If we can remember to experiment like this even occasionally, we are training as a warrior. And when we can’t practice when distracted but know that we can’t, we are still training well. Never underestimate the power of compassionately recognizing what’s going on.”