"Life is our practice. If we listen deeply to what's going on -- if we're involved down to the very bottom with our life situation -- this is our true teacher, the most venerable teacher. Life -- roshi!" Maurine Stuart
This quote begins today's reflection in Diane Mariechild's Open Mind -- Women's Daily Reflections for Becoming Mindful.
Notice that Maurine Stuart does not qualify what life must be like in order for it to be our teacher. Any life -- our own lives -- are the teacher. What she does qualify is how we respond to life: if we listen, if we are involved down to the very bottom, that is when life can be our teacher.
So it's not just about living, it's not just about going through the motions, half-awake, unaware, uninvolved with life's depths. It's about plunging in, being aware, remaining open to the lessons.
It's about asking questions: what does this event/circumstance/person have to teach me? Will I allow myself to be transformed?
If we explore our pain, if we plunge into its depths with a mind- and heart-set of wanting it to teach us, then our lives of chronic pain can become, instead of burden, teacher.
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Carol D. Marsh
- With a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction degree (Goucher College, August 2014), I am looking at a new phase in my life. From 1992 to 2009, I served as Founding Executive Director of Miriam's House, a residence for homeless women living with AIDS. I left this position when Chronic Migraine Disease overtook my ability to do my job. Now I hope that a writing career will both accommodate the migraines and give me a creative, productive outlet. And soon, September 4, I will launch my Inkshares author page in a bid to hit the 1,000 pre-order goal in 90 days. The book I want to publish is "Nowhere Else I Want to Be," a memoir of ten of my years at Miriam's House.