I have never shared a dream before on my blog. Yet, spontaneously I am moved to do so. Rarely do I have such nourishing, beautiful dreams.
But it was all so real. Looking out a glass door and there she was! Pema Chödrön! I spontaneously swung open the door and stepped outside and asked Pema if I could give her a hug. She smiled. And said, "Of course." And we warmly hugged. I mean, really warmly hugged, heart to heart.
And I told Pema what a difference she has made in my life. How her teachings have helped me to open and heal my heart. And I wept with gratitude. Pema continued to smile. And here I was with Pema Chödrön! Unbelievable! What a gift! WOW!!
The next thing I knew we were sitting quietly inside next to one another. And I was leaning my head on her shoulder. And Ron and someone else were taking pictures from two different angles of Pema and me together, sitting there side by side with my head leaning on her shoulder. Her presence filled my heart.
As it has for years.
How can I ever express the depths of my gratitude for all my teachers over the years? Certainly Pema Chödrön is among those who has made the biggest difference in my life. Many years ago, and without giving any thought to Buddhism or thinking I should be part of this or that religion or any spiritual tradition in particular, I found myself drawn in my heart, spirit, soul to the work of this sweet and very human and brave, compassionate and kind, and wise and loving woman. Between the lines on the pages what I felt was her heart. And the Heart which weaves its tender Love through us all.
And having had a mother who was so dangerous, who tried to suffocate me to death as a 13 month old, who was so scary, Pema was among those older women who I sensed in my deepest being, I could trust. I could trust her. And over many years now, the essence of what she speaks to has found its way into my deepest being. Even just five years ago when Ron and I were in Mexico and I went into a deep episode of PTSD, I found a quiet space and pulled out my Pocket Pema Chödrön (http://www.amazon.com/Pocket-Pema-Chodron-Shambhala-Classics/dp/1590306511) and read passage after passage and was able to let myself be drawn back to safety and love and peace.
How can I ever express the depths of my appreciation for those who have empowered me to discover a path out of so much darkness? And, paradoxically, helped me to see that the path is by embracing, by befriending exactly that which I desperately wanted to deny or get rid of. Ah, learning to accept and hold myself with loving compassion. What a profound gift.
Today I hold Pema Chödrön - and all those who the Mystery has worked through to help me and others awaken - with deep and abiding respect, reverence, and gratitude. And I know that if I can emerge from that which killed my twin and nearly took me down, too, that awakening and learning to open our hearts is possible for anyone.
With love & gratitude ~ Molly
"Compassion isn't some kind of self-improvement project or ideal
that we're trying to live up to. Having compassion starts and ends
with having compassion for all those unwanted parts of ourselves,
all those imperfections that we don't even want to look at.
The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this
to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy."
- Pema Chödrön