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Staying In-Between

From Pema Chödrön's The Places That Scare You, in Chapter 22 ("The In-Between State"), are metaphors riffing off the Shunryu Suzuki aphorism, "The secret of Zen is just two words: not always so." Chödrön suggests:

Anxiety, heartbreak, and tenderness mark the in-between state. It's the kind of place we usually want to avoid. The challenge is to stay in the middle rather than buy into struggle and complaint. The challenge is to let it soften us rather than make us more rigid and afraid. Becoming intimate with the queasy feeling of being in the middle of nowhere only makes our hearts more tender. When we are brave enough to stay in the middle, compassion arises spontaneously. By not knowing, not hoping to know, and not acting like we know what's happening, we begin to access our inner strength.

Or, in some of her briefer phrases:

^z - 2015-03-09