Wisdom Wednesday: Everything You Need

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November 14, 2012 by Darlene McC

I recently picked up a pocket version of the best writings of Pema Chodron.  Pema is a Tibetan Buddhist nun who has done significant work bringing Tibetan Buddhism to the western world through her writing and teaching.  I’m loving this little book, and had a great moment of reflection when I stumbled across the phrase

We already have everything.

We already have everything we need.  There is no need for self improvement. All these trips that we lay on ourselves – the heavy-duty fearing that we’re bad and hoping that we’re good, the identities that we so dearly cling to, the rage, the jealousy and the addictions of all kinds – never touch our basic wealth.

I flashed-back to my second year in college, to my favorite acting professor working with me on a particularly difficult scene that I couldn’t seem to get to emotionally. I was floundering… badly… like an adventurer flailing in quick sand, the more I struggled the worse it got.  And I knew it; which only made it worse in front of a room of my peers whom I was desperate to impress.  Mark, my professor, came up to me, put his hands on my shoulders and looked me in the eye in a way that limited the room to just the two of us.

“You have everything you need.” he said in such a way that I believed it as inherently true.  “You have everything you need so just do it.”

To this day I still take the time when I’m flailing to remind myself, as Pema Chodron did for me yesterday morning, that I have everything I need. And so do you.
and probably a little extra.

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