the middle way

photo by brooke golightly

The Big Squeeze

Excerpted from “True Happiness”

Sounds True, Inc.

This is the place where most of us hang out for a long time, in what I sometimes call the big squeeze, where you are sort of caught between your idealistic notions of how you want to be (and how you think everyone else should be as well), and your “human frailty” if you want to call it that – the realness of your cravings, or the strength of your habitual patterns. You are sort of caught and rubbed between these two things…

(the sound of Ani-la rubbing her hands together is heard in the recording over a brief period of silence)

And, it’s very interesting, because on the one hand there is your idealism, how one “should” be. And then you are up against how you actually are. And interestingly enough – if you actually allow yourself to be rubbed instead of being harsh on yourself, if you will allow yourself to be rubbed – this is a place were some sort of real balance comes in. You really learn what is the middle way between idealism and craving, some kind of middle way where you can hold your seat, you can keep your heart open and stay receptive to these difficult places. You can stay open and more and more you can not harm yourself by doing the same things over and over.

But it’s half way… you’re sort of right in the middle of something, and I really think this is the place where we learn compassion for ourselves. This is the place where we begin to have some appreciation for what other people are up against, some real empathy, instead of just criticizing them all the time.

When you see yourself, how strong your aspiration is and how you are not always able to measure up, you learn so much from this inbetween state of a really good-hearted strong wish to not block your buddha-nature, and yet still finding yourself in that very place.

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