Friday, July 08, 2005



"...even the things inside us that seem most terrible or unworkable contain a deeper intent that needs to be unlocked and redirected in a life-affirming way. Hidden within every wound we always find a particular blessing. If we blame ourselves for our personality patterns, we cannot access the gift contained within them and thus only impoverish ourselves further. Whatever we are struggling with, whatever seems most neurotic, can become an important stepping-stone on our way. Whatever problem, question, or confusion we have, whatever seems impossible in our lives--if we go toward it, see it, feel it, make a relationship with it, use it--becomes our path.
Tantric Buddhism uses the metaphor of a snake uncoiling in midair to describe the process of awakening. The coils of our neurosis have raw, wild energy tangled up in them. To uncoil these tangles, so that we do not remain ensnared, we do not have to kill the snake, or even sublimate its energy into more socially approved forms. Instead, by simply allowing it to do what in naturally wants to do--to unwind--we can tap its power and aliveness. What allows the coiled snake of the mind to unwind is awareness and gentle compassion. Compassion does not try to suppress the snake's wildness, but rather draws on the energies tied up in our neuroses to propel us forward on our path. And this path--of liberating the qualities of our being, proclaiming and celebrating them, and using them to help ourselves and other people--is never ending."

Toward a Psychology of Awakening
John Welwood
pp. 33,34


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