October 24, 2013


Insight abstains when I actively do or think. Insight arrives when I'm spacious and aware. Last weekend I sat, ate, and walked in silent meditation. Cheri Maples described her experience with social justice and equanimity. She posed a question: how do I engage in the very habit I complain about? That struck me. Because earlier in her dharma talk--when she mentioned the doing, individualistic nature of society--I felt anger (read: complaint). How do I engage in this particular striving habit? By pushing myself to produce; by judging myself harshly; by not forgiving myself for even small infractions. 

I felt clearly the hard edges of my life--the inner-places not yet accepted. I walked and wept. I sat and wept. And in this process I developed deep tenderness for myself. A tenderness I hadn't yet realized I needed. Though I practice loving-kindness for myself and others, I was blind to the beauty of self-forgiveness. 

When I felt shame, I gently said: I forgive you. When I noticed myself lost in thoughts, I gently said: I forgive you. When I glimpsed my judging mind, I gently said: I forgive you. When I stumbled (or dropped a fork or misread words), I gently said: I forgive you. I not only whispered the words, I felt the forgiveness in my body.

Frustration and complaints are signals; they serve as bells of mindfulness. Sometimes the anger is at our own mistreatment of ourselves. I'm grateful for this insight. And I forgive myself for previous (and future) blindness.


  1. hello there JOY! I got your postcard this week, the one thanking me with big hugs! And I noticed you had a blog link on your post card. So here I am and I LOVE what I see so far and so of course I'm following you now via blog lover, I'm a blogger too, I use wordpress. I'm so happy I found you here. I will be visiting lots.

    Love your friend

    1. tracie, it's so good to hear from you. thanks for stopping by my blog. you're warmly welcome anytime.