Turning Toward What’s Difficult

I listened to a podcast of Tami Simon interviewing Tsultrim Allione, who started a Buddhist retreat center in Colorado, and did a lot of work to bring the feminine into Buddhism.  She talked about facing and incorporating the bad, a practice described as letting the demon eat you.  She described what she did when her husband died, which was to think of all the people who had lost someone they loved.  I realize that’s something I already do when I am feeling pain.  Thinking that I’m not the only one, that there are other people who feel as bad as I do or worse, really helps me not feel so alone with it.  I don’t think this is exactly what is meant by “letting the demon eat you.” I think that’s a more complete surrender to the pain, which I think I have been able to do with emotional pain, but not with physical pain.

I am beginning to feel really comforted by people like her and Thomas Hübl.  They describe a world that is much bigger than the one that most people live in, a world I certainly am not really in touch with.  But I find their knowledge of it convincing, so I trust that it is real, and just that is comforting.

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