L E T T E R from Jac – Surrender – The Broad Place

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L E T T E R from Jac – Surrender

In a 1979 lecture by Ram Dass he says, ‘Just look at your life and think how many preferences you have. You prefer pleasure over pain? Life over death? Friends over loneliness? Freedom over imprisonment? Love over hate? Where are your attachments? Where are your clingings? Are you stuck in polarities? That is what the Third Patriarch is asking. “Make the slightest distinction, and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart”, he says. Make the slightest distinction and you’ve created hell. To set up what you like against what you dislike is the dis-ease of the mind”. Are you ready to live like that? Do you realise how spacious you have to bet to live by that kins of philosophy?’

It’s something we are all coming up against right now. It’s something I am coming up against locked in a hotel room in a quarantine with a teenager and no fresh air for 14 days. How many preferences am I willing to surrender? What am I prepared to offer up? With what grace or what lack of it? What can I learn about my own minds’ workings, when faced with it unwillingly minute after minute? Marley and I were mucking around and she was moaning that normally I choose to be locked in a room meditating when on my silent retreats and so this should be easy for me, and I teased her that yes but she is also not there with me through that process, and I am alone and willing not entertaining a teen! Regardless though, preferences are always being surrendered, so how are you ready to live and be with it? How spacious can you get? It’s something I am working on now, and would love you to join me.

Written with love,

Jac x

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