Three Methods for Working with Chaos

Today when I was reading, “When Things Fall Apart,” by Pema Chodron, I arrived at the chapter called “Three Methods for Working with Chaos,” and wanted to share this wisdom with my readers.

Pema recommends three very practical ways to work with chaos: no struggle, poison as medicine, and regarding everything that arises as the manifestation of wisdom.

First, we can train in letting go of the story lines. We can slow down enough to be present and let go of the multitude of judgments and schemes and just stop struggling.

Second, we can use every day of our lives to take a different attitude toward suffering. Instead of pushing it away, we can breath it in, with the wish that people everywhere could experience contentment in their hearts. In this way, we could transform pain into joy.

Third, we can acknowledge that suffering exists, that darkness exists — that there is chaos in here and chaos out there — and this is basic wisdom. As stated by Pema: Whether we regard our situation as heaven or as hell depends on our perception (p. 126).

Finally, we can just relax and lighten up! When we wake in the morning, we can dedicate our day to learning how to do this. We can cultivate our sense of humor and practice giving ourselves a break. Every time we sit down to meditate, we can think of it as training to lighten up, to have a sense or humor, and to relax.

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