Monday, January 10, 2011


Once we commit ourselves to the spiritual path, it is very painful and we are in for it. We have committed ourselves to the pain of exposing ourselves, of taking off our clothes, our skin, nerves, heart, brains, until we are exposed to the universe. Nothing will be left. It will be terrible, excruciating, but that is the way it is.
-Chogyam Trungpa
I stumbled across this quote recently. It reminded me of a story I heard from a woman who is living in residence at ZMM for a year. She was chatting with someone who had come to the monastery for one of their monthly Intro to Zen weekend workshops. After spending the weekend immersed in the program, the participant said, "This practice is opening a big can of worms! I'm not so sure I want to do that."

Yup. A freaking big can of worms. Wide open.

Sonya left a comment about thinking about love and vulnerability. I, too, have been thinking a lot about vulnerability, in the context of so many things - maybe all of life. At another workshop at the monastery, I bravely (or so it felt to me at the time) spoke up about being afraid to speak up during any kind of open comment or question period. The teacher responded with great kindness and, at one point, made mention of vulnerability. As he spoke it, the word pierced through me in the way that only something very real and true can.


Can you stand it?


Sonya Philip said...

No. Hermit crab. Snail. I would rather curl up in my shell.

Sonya Philip said...

BUT. As an artist, this year I am committing to push against that natural, protective, curling instinct. We'll see how it turns out.

Jan Morrison said...

yes, but I never think I can. Then I remind myself to linger longer in the vulnerbility (or shame, or self-consciousness, or...?) And then I know I can.

Patti Blaine said...

That quote, and this post, speak volumes to me, Robyn. This, this is what I've been dealing w/ ever since setting my feet on the path. Crap. I hate being vulnerable. xoxo

Robyn said...

Yes Jan. I think it is like that.

Patti, it takes a ton of courage to stand it. But I know you have a ton of courage so it will be ok! XOX