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Embrace the Mess

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Welcome back to Day Three of our Un-challenge. In the last couple of days, we've explored letting ourselves unwind some of this deep tension through embodying a more still place within us. Yesterday, we talked about why that can sometimes be difficult and we use this phrase, you're welcome here too. In today's session, I want to explore how we navigate some of the "mess" that can arise when we actually start opening to the fullness of our life. And so the theme of today will be embracing the mess.

And I want to share a short Zen story with you to frame this. It's about this Zen farmer who had a horse, and he depended on this horse to till his fields and sustain his farm. But one day that horse ran away. Then you know, all the villagers they came by and they said, "We're so sorry. This is such a tragedy." And the farmer said, "You know what? Good luck, bad luck, who knows." And so a week goes by.

The farmer is still trying to figure out what to do next. And the horse comes back and it brings another horse with it. And now all the villagers they come by and they go, "Wow, this is such good luck. You're so lucky." Farmer goes, "Well. Good luck, bad luck, who knows." Two weeks later, the farmer's son is working with one of the horses, trying to tame it, falls off its back and breaks his leg.

Now all the villagers, they come by again, and they say, "We're so sorry. This is such bad luck." Farmer says, "Well, bad luck, good luck, who knows." Another couple of weeks later, the army comes through town and they're conscripting all the able-bodied young men that they can. They come by the farmer's son, they see him and they pass by. And the villagers they come by and they say, "Wow, this is really good luck." And can you guess the farmer's response? Good luck, bad luck, who knows. I always really love this story because I think it captures the heart of having a mind of equanimity in relationship to our experience.

There's a really deep wisdom to the farmer. Although some people could write this off and say, oh, his head's in the clouds. Well, is that true? Or is he actually having an honest, interfacing with his moment to moment experience? Because the reality is, is that we actually don't know what a moment will lead to. There are endless examples of things that we thought would be bad that ended up leading to something positive and things that we thought would be positive that ended up leading to something "bad". You know, trauma can actually lead to a deep soul exploration and subsequently lead to growth.

Getting a new house could lead to having terrible neighbors and a whole host of other problems. A diagnosis of cancer can actually lead to a new appreciation of life. Getting a new job that we were excited about might lead to coworkers that were frustrated by. And so you see how we can get so attached to our idea of what this moment means that there's not actually space for it to become what it will become. And because of that, we actually set ourselves up for some suffering in the long term.

We either get attached to how this moment should be, or we resist so much how this moment is that we're creating this extra tension. What would it be like to take the orientation of the farmer, which isn't denying reality. It's not saying that we endorse it, that we like it, that we wish bad things to happen. It's just this simple, honest acknowledgement of good luck, bad luck, who knows. And so today I invite you to explore taking that relationship to some of your moments.

There might be some things, if we're being honest, that this is just too difficult to do with. I think of some experiences of grief where it could actually feel like maybe a form of violence against our grief to say, good luck, bad luck, who knows. Maybe we just need to be in that space of, no, this is bad luck and I need to feel what I'm feeling and that's okay. So start with some other moments. You know, someone cuts you off in the road and it's like, "All right.

Bad luck, good luck, who knows." Or you miss a meeting, bad luck, good luck. Who knows. And just see what it's like to take that orientation to your experience. This really helps us connect to that part of us that is balanced in relationship to what is arising and continue to not fuel that aspect of us that is constantly trying to control or understand or make sense of how this is all going to unfold, because the reality is we can't know. And there's a way we can inhabit our experience that is much more spacious, like the farmer.

So try this out and let's settle in for today's meditation.

Cory Muscara

4.9

Embrace the Mess

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Welcome back to Day Three of our Un-challenge. In the last couple of days, we've explored letting ourselves unwind some of this deep tension through embodying a more still place within us. Yesterday, we talked about why that can sometimes be difficult and we use this phrase, you're welcome here too. In today's session, I want to explore how we navigate some of the "mess" that can arise when we actually start opening to the fullness of our life. And so the theme of today will be embracing the mess.

And I want to share a short Zen story with you to frame this. It's about this Zen farmer who had a horse, and he depended on this horse to till his fields and sustain his farm. But one day that horse ran away. Then you know, all the villagers they came by and they said, "We're so sorry. This is such a tragedy." And the farmer said, "You know what? Good luck, bad luck, who knows." And so a week goes by.

The farmer is still trying to figure out what to do next. And the horse comes back and it brings another horse with it. And now all the villagers they come by and they go, "Wow, this is such good luck. You're so lucky." Farmer goes, "Well. Good luck, bad luck, who knows." Two weeks later, the farmer's son is working with one of the horses, trying to tame it, falls off its back and breaks his leg.

Now all the villagers, they come by again, and they say, "We're so sorry. This is such bad luck." Farmer says, "Well, bad luck, good luck, who knows." Another couple of weeks later, the army comes through town and they're conscripting all the able-bodied young men that they can. They come by the farmer's son, they see him and they pass by. And the villagers they come by and they say, "Wow, this is really good luck." And can you guess the farmer's response? Good luck, bad luck, who knows. I always really love this story because I think it captures the heart of having a mind of equanimity in relationship to our experience.

There's a really deep wisdom to the farmer. Although some people could write this off and say, oh, his head's in the clouds. Well, is that true? Or is he actually having an honest, interfacing with his moment to moment experience? Because the reality is, is that we actually don't know what a moment will lead to. There are endless examples of things that we thought would be bad that ended up leading to something positive and things that we thought would be positive that ended up leading to something "bad". You know, trauma can actually lead to a deep soul exploration and subsequently lead to growth.

Getting a new house could lead to having terrible neighbors and a whole host of other problems. A diagnosis of cancer can actually lead to a new appreciation of life. Getting a new job that we were excited about might lead to coworkers that were frustrated by. And so you see how we can get so attached to our idea of what this moment means that there's not actually space for it to become what it will become. And because of that, we actually set ourselves up for some suffering in the long term.

We either get attached to how this moment should be, or we resist so much how this moment is that we're creating this extra tension. What would it be like to take the orientation of the farmer, which isn't denying reality. It's not saying that we endorse it, that we like it, that we wish bad things to happen. It's just this simple, honest acknowledgement of good luck, bad luck, who knows. And so today I invite you to explore taking that relationship to some of your moments.

There might be some things, if we're being honest, that this is just too difficult to do with. I think of some experiences of grief where it could actually feel like maybe a form of violence against our grief to say, good luck, bad luck, who knows. Maybe we just need to be in that space of, no, this is bad luck and I need to feel what I'm feeling and that's okay. So start with some other moments. You know, someone cuts you off in the road and it's like, "All right.

Bad luck, good luck, who knows." Or you miss a meeting, bad luck, good luck. Who knows. And just see what it's like to take that orientation to your experience. This really helps us connect to that part of us that is balanced in relationship to what is arising and continue to not fuel that aspect of us that is constantly trying to control or understand or make sense of how this is all going to unfold, because the reality is we can't know. And there's a way we can inhabit our experience that is much more spacious, like the farmer.

So try this out and let's settle in for today's meditation.

Cory Muscara

4.9

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