Today I spent much of the day repping my March Shredness essay, trying to “win.” This goes against what I read today, but Pema Chödrön stresses the need to lighten up, so I will go easy on myself for still having ego and attachment to my writing.

The first slogan, yesterday, was All dharmas are dreams. Today, I read about the next three slogans:

  • Examine the nature of unborn awareness (in other words, the one who has insight; who is this I, thinking?)
  • Self-liberate even the antidote (none of us is okay, and all of us are fine; everything is dream, even dreaming)
  • Rest in the nature of alaya, the essence (alaya is the “open primordial basis of all phenomenon,” or openness)

My focus for the 15 minutes of mindfulness was on bringing my breath in through my heart and letting it diffuse out through my head, in the direction of the space just above the crown of my head. This is a first step, a practice toward tonglen, which pulls in pain and suffering and breathes it out as relief and compassion. I’m not sure yet if I have enough compassion for myself to do this–like they say on the plane, secure your own mask before helping others–but it’s all a process.