Christmas with Chödrön III

This Christmas, a friend gave me The Pocket Pema Chödrön, which includes 108 brief insights from the books of the beloved Buddhist nun, Pema Chödrön. I’m committing to blog on Chödrön’s wisdom for each of the twelve days of Christmas. Because the number 108 held such energy for me, I have decided to limit my reflections and comments to 108 words, which is really not very much at all! But it will be a good Christmas challenge. Since God was able to limit the Infinite to one tiny baby, I can at least try to limit my ramblings to 108 words…

Chödrön: “Bodhichitta is our heart—our wounded, softened heart…the more you look, the more you find just a feeling of tenderness tinged with some kind of sadness. This sadness is not about somebody mistreating us. This is inherent sadness, conditioned sadness. It is part of our birthright, a family heirloom. It’s been called the genuine heart of sadness.” (Selection 26: Start Where You Are, 11-12)

“There is in every weak, lost and isolated member of the human race an agony of hatred born of his own helplessness, his own isolation. Hatred is the sign and the expression of loneliness, of unworthiness, of insufficiency. And in so far as each one of us is lonely, is unworthy, each one hates himself.” According to Thomas Merton, we all hate ourselves. Although most of us deny this, Merton encourages us to enter into the sadness of our self-hate, because that is exactly where we begin to practice self-love.

Today’s Saint, Beloved John, encourages the same: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves…

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