How to change your perspective on the drama and chaos in your life

You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.

What a lovely piece of wisdom from American Tibetan Buddhist, Pema Chodron.

It says to me that I (my soul, my spirit) am a constant unchanging backdrop while the events in my life and my reactions to them (emotions) are ever-changing – transient, nothing to hang on to too tightly, passing ...

It’s a lovely idea because, when you think about it, if the passing drama is fluid and fleeting, then why get caught up in it? Why not stay solid and strong, like the backdrop, the sky?

This separation of sky and weather (the unchanging and the changing) is popular in meditation and mindfulness. I first heard of it about 15 years ago when learning meditation from Dr Ian Gawler. His advice for achieving a deep meditative state was to focus on the blue of the sky and to let my thoughts pass as if clouds in front of my mind’s eye. Or that’s how I understood it anyway.

Then, when I studied mindfulness a few years ago, the notion of our essence being constant while our feelings, emotions and reactions shift and change arose again.

You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.

Recognising the difference can make all the difference, don’t you think?

 

Pema also says: "If one wishes suffering not to happen, to the people and the earth, it begins with a kind heart." Spot on.

You can see more of Pema Chodron's work here. She’s written many books on Buddhist principles, particularly achieving peace and conquering fear.   

Natalie Bartley