There’s a slogan in the mahayana teachings that says, “Drive all blames into oneself.” The essence of this slogan is, “When it hurts so bad, it’s because I am hanging on so tight.” It’s not saying that we should beat ourselves up. It’s not advocating martyrdom. What it implies is that pain comes from holding so tightly to having it our own way and that one of the main exits we take when we find ourselves uncomfortable, when we find ourselves in an unwanted situation or an unwanted place, is to blame.
This slogan is a helpful and interesting suggestion that we could begin to shift that deep-seated, ancient, habitual tendency to hang on to having everything on our own terms. The way to start would be, first, when we feel the tendency to blame, to try to get in touch with what it feels like to be holding on to ourselves so tightly.
from the book When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
Read a random quote or see all quotes by Pema Chödron.
Further quotes from the book When Things Fall Apart:
- It’s just like that
- How are you
- Just being here again and again and again
- Moving closer to the truth
- The perfect teacher
- The courage to look at ourselves honestly and gently
- Awakening is essential
- Being with us
- The path of true awakening
- Finding out what is true
- Flooding the world with your kindness
- Exposing ourselves to annihilation
- Only in our own experience
- Until we got it
- Don’t Set Out to Save the World
- Fully alive
- No fresh air
- Becoming unstuck
- Abandoning hope