The heart is a reckless thing, full of love and tenderness, not counting the cost of the risks it takes. It is the ego, the kludge we think is ourself, with its thoughts and its calculations, its appearances to be kept up, its scores to be settled, that will not let it sing. But the ego is a lash-up, a phoney self, a bundle of shadows. It does not even stay true to itself from one moment to the next.

It takes some training to equate complete letting go with comfort. But in fact, “nothing to hold on to” is the root of happiness. There’s a sense of freedom when we accept that we’re not in control. Pointing ourselves toward what we would most like to avoid makes our barriers and shields permeable.

Pema Chödrön – Tricycle, Winter 2001

And in fact we are not in control. All that is in control here is cause and effect, dependent origination. Take away the dream of control, and you find yourself at rest in the very ground of being, the isness that is before becoming. That is the heart’s true home, the healing of things in themselves.

We are not what we think we are, ever. We are paradox, human. We are bombu, scraps of foolishness on a changing wind. And we live in the middle, somewhere, in the muddle. Until the light dissolves us, there is nowhere else to be. Chödrön again:

The fact is that we spend a long time in the middle. This juicy spot is a fruitful place to be. Resting here completely—steadfastly experiencing the clarity of the present moment—is called enlightenment.

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