Posted by: Lady Optimistic | January 9, 2015

Existential Crisis at The Indian Market

So, I have this thing for Pema Chodron.  I get her weekly email with quotes from her books.  I think she’s great.  But man was I confused yesterday.  Let me lay it out for you:

On the one hand, Pema says that we should find our soft spot and feel soft towards others so that we can learn to do that for ourselves, too.  Or maybe its the other way around… I don’t remember, but the goal is to have generosity both for ourselves and everyone else…

On the other hand, Pema says that no matter what we are feeling, thats what we should stick with.  Just feel it.  Be with it.  Don’t try to change it.  The goal isn’t happiness, but in-the-moment-ness.  After all, we will eventually have generosity for ourselves and others if we are in the moment.

So there I was at the Indian market with my two boxes of tea and a tiny bag full of chilis.  And there was this old uncle and auntie and some other woman who must have been their daughter, but she seemed like an auntie, too.  Anyway, they had the world’s most stuffed cart of lentils and veggies.  I mean, they cornered the market on everything in that damn place.  They had at least two of each, except for the cookies – they had five – FIVE – boxes of those!

And I was mad.  I was in a hurry and I wanted them to let me go ahead of them in line.  But they didn’t.  Uncle saw that I only had three things, but that didn’t stop him from slowly stuffing all the stuff from his cart onto the belt, while I watched.

So I was frustrated.  And I had bad thoughts about these people.  So then I thought, I should have nice thoughts about these people.  I should dredge up some zen serenity towards these people.  But then I thought about how Ani Pema says to just feel what we feel.

HELP!  I mean really…

So, since this happened a couple of days ago I have gained some perspective.  Both Zeus and BFF have suggested that I should have asked for what I wanted, which was to go ahead of them…  But there was no way I could have done that.  And exploring why I couldn’t ask is a whole other existential crisis of my thinking process and what I may or may not deserve in life and why I have those complicated, twisted problems…

But maybe, too, these thought pattern things Ani Pema teaches apply to when you are meditating and not to when you are standing in line, late to get home from work.

So the bottom line…  At least it occurred to me to not hate those people.

Crisis Accomplished! – You figure out what that means.  I’ll write about it later.

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