Meaningful Memories Japan

The Human Predicament – Pema Chodron

Two excerpts and a poem. I hope you enjoy them.

The Human Predicament

“As human beings we share a tendency to scramble for certainty whenever we realize that everything around us is in flux. In difficult times the stress of trying to find solid ground—something predictable to stand on—seems to intensify. But in truth, the very nature of our existence is forever in flux. Everything keeps changing, whether we’re aware of it or not.

What a predicament! We seem doomed to suffer simply because we have a deep-seated fear of how things really are. Our attempts to find lasting pleasure, lasting security, are at odds with the fact that we’re part of a dynamic system in which everything and everyone is in process.

So this is where we find ourselves: right in the middle of a dilemma. And it leaves us with some provocative questions: How can we live wholeheartedly in the face of impermanence, knowing that one day we’re going to die? What is it like to realize we can never completely and finally get it all together? Is it possible to increase our tolerance for instability and change? How can we make friends with unpredictability and uncertainty— and embrace them as vehicles to transform our lives?”  Pema Chodron

Pema has a gift and a skill of putting into a few paragraphs what I might take a few pages to talk about.

There are many situations in life you do not control, but you often contribute to them. (James Clear, author Atomic Habits)

“I cannot control the rain, but I can control my clothing.

I cannot control your feelings, but I can control my kindness.

I cannot control my opponent, but I can control my response.

You cannot control most outcomes in life, but you can usually influence them. Releasing your attachment to the results does not mean releasing your responsibility to the situation.”


A Favourite Poem by Julie Fahrenbacher

The Most Important Thing

I am making a home inside myself. A shelter
of kindness where everything
is forgiven, everything allowed—a quiet patch
of sunlight to stretch out without hurry,
where all that has been banished
and buried is welcomed, spoken, listened to—released.

A fiercely friendly place I can claim as my very own.

I am throwing arms open
to the whole of myself—especially the fearful,
fault-finding, falling apart, unfinished parts, knowing
every seed and weed, every drop
of rain, has made the soil richer.

I will light a candle, pour a hot cup of tea, gather
around the warmth of my own blazing fire. I will howl
if I want to, knowing this flame can burn through
any perceived problem, any prescribed perfectionism,
any lying limitation, every heavy thing.

I am making a home inside myself
where grace blooms in grand and glorious
abundance, a shelter of kindness that grows
all the truest things.

I whisper hallelujah to the friendly
sky. Watch now as I burst into blossom.


1:) The banner photo is from the first day of my five-day walk in Japan, with friends,  along the Nakasendo Way.

2:) Make time for the great outdoors. She is a terrific healer and teacher.

3:) Just for fun IPhone sounds by Maytree

3:) Stay cool, in the sweltering temperatures. See you next week and many thank-you’s for coming by here. Warmly, Trudy

13 replies
  1. Helga Beer
    Helga Beer says:

    Wonderful blog Trudy. I too love it and will put it in my pocket as I am wandering around this summer in my native land. So many opportunities to open my arms a bit wider to everything in flux. As always, 🙏

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Lovely surprise to see you here Helga. There is no escape from reality. Facing and flowing with the flux is such a gentle and challenging way to live. Sometimes inconvenient. Sometimes delightfully surprised. And you are a master. Safe travels. 🙏🏻

  2. Kathryn
    Kathryn says:

    Good morning, friend.
    Thank you for a heartfelt post.
    Grateful to keep seeing Julie Fahrenbacher name as well as yours, Trudy.

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Thank you dear Kathryn. Julie Fahrenbacher speaks directly to my heart. I am always happy to see your name in my inbox too. 🙏🏻

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      How lovely to receive your note Sabine. And I appreciate your compliment of predictability. It felt good to hear that. Thank you. 🙏🏻


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