When a negative emotion arises in the mind, its nature is quite pure. It is energy, an experience in the body and the mind. That’s all. It’s not substantial. And it is fleeting unless supported. It is a shimmer of light and will transform by itself. Even confusion is clear in its nature; it’s only when we have a problem with the problem — and either grasp at it and continue with it or fight with it and try to push it away — that the negativity is supported. Left alone, it dissolves, it self-liberates.
— Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
Who hasn’t thought about chucking it all and moving into a ritzy hotel? At the end of my post is the link to the blog As Time Goes By. The title for today is “retiring to a hotel.” I pass it along because it contains another idea of community.
Yesterday was one of those days – filled with irritations – train and plane prices soared so I can’t go to Indiana for Thanksgiving with my dad and other family, I have a sore throat, and on my watch the land lady’s dog went off on her own merry doggy way for too many hours. Fortunately the day ended – I’ll stay in the North West with friends for now and the dog came home. I didn’t get everything I wanted – acknowledgement for trying to find the dog, an affordable ticket to travel, and I have a cold.
Earlier in the week I told my Spiritual Director that “I’m attending to my irritations.” “What do you mean?” he asked. I said “I’m paying attention when I’m irritated – it’s helping me think about living in community.” He shared a poem he’d written about the invitation in our irritation.
IRRITATION TO INVITATION
I feel the barbs of this little irritation,
cycling round, coursing in my veins.
Ah, is there within the irritation
some invitation I might waste
if I suppress it—or in haste express it
raw? Or let it gnaw at my heart?
If I do nothing, it will do something
I do not intend. How can I take
this attitude of annoyance and let it
turn to gratitude and grace? I pray
for a via media. Yet well I know that
I will come upon this middle way
in a dark wood of waiting….
There the way is incubating.
— Kent Ira Groff©2011
Sometimes it’s best to write a few things down and leave the rest alone.