“Ego is like a room of your own, a room with a view with the temperature and the smells and the music that you like. You want it your own way. You'd just like to have a little peace, you'd like to have a little happiness, you know, just “gimme a break!”. But the more you think that way, the more you try to get life to come out so that it will always suit you, the more your fear of other people and what's outside your room grows. Rather than becoming more relaxed, you start pulling down the shades and locking the door. When you do go out, you find the experience more and more unsettling and disagreeable. You become touchier, more fearful, more irritable than ever. The more you try to get it your way, the less you feel at home.” Pema Chödrön
As human beings, we do whatever we can to avoid pain and seek pleasure. Because of the advances in technology over the past 40 years or so our lives have gotten more comfortable and convenient. In New York City you can dream up any cuisine from across the world and with a click of a few buttons have it delivered to your door. Instead of traveling to far away places you can see a polar bear or an elephant at your nearby zoo. I personally am incapable of taking even a “luke warm” shower on the hottest of days.
All of these conveniences make our life seem so much more enjoyable, but they can also feed into the genuine unhappiness and dissatisfaction that we all share as a species. Because of our want to be comfortable we scramble for ground. When things don’t go our way we cling to ideologies and circumstances that we know. We develop opinions, beliefs, likes and dislikes that seem to individualize ourselves but in actuality they are only separating us from the world around us- further closing in the walls of our comfortable room.
The third universal law states that “Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates.” Every molecule, atom and particle in this world are in constant movement. So our attempts to hold on to things and ideas in this moving and changing world around us are all a joke. The more we hold on the more we get dragged around through the mud.
So then what are we to do? Well, we can start by releasing the grip and realizing that our true nature is based on true groundlessness. Have you ever had “the rug pulled out from underneath you?” That everything you used to define yourself no longer existed? You may have lost a job, a spouse, a child, or just your place in line. Do you remember that feeling? Of course you do because it was at that moment that you were completely awake. With nothing to hold on to.
Fear is when you don’t know what is going to happen next. But let’s be honest. NO ONE DOES. No one knows what is going to happen tomorrow, next month or even in the next 5 minutes. So all of our efforts to solidify our experience are in vain. Further building the walls of our perfect little room higher and thicker.
But if we unlock the door, let go and invite in all of the groundless qualities of the present moment; we can start to open our hearts and minds to the freedom that is right here and right now. Because the only thing that makes sense in the present moment is love and kindness.