Christmas with Chödrön V

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: “At the end of the day, before going to sleep, think over what you’ve done. If you fulfilled your aspiration, even once, rejoice in that.  If you went against your aspiration, rejoice that you are able to see what you did and are no longer living in ignorance. This way you will be inspired to go forward with increasing clarity, confidence, and compassion.” (Selection 37: Always Maintain a Joyful Mind, 83)

During weekly prayers at my house, we often use the Ignatian Examen to check in. St. Ignatius said that if you pray just one prayer a day, make it the Examen prayer. The prayer invites us to review our day (or week or month) and ask ourselves where and when we felt most close to God (our moments of consolation) and then where and when we felt most distant from God (our moments of desolation). Among youth groups, I call this practice “Highs and Lows” or “Pow-Wow.” Chödrön offers a kind version of this practice, inviting me to prayerfully review this last year and even this last decade.

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