What would it be like to be able to welcome any challenge as an invitation into awakening? Our relationship to our troubles determines the answer to this question. Are we avoiding anything? Are we at war? Harboring ill-will? Acting from desperation? Hungry for something, anything, other than what’s actually happening? Are you going for pleasure instead of going for consciousness? Trying to find where pleasure and consciousness can coexist?

The answers to these and other questions often arise out of the heroic exploration of what makes each of us tick. Uncovering what, for example we most identify with offers keys to what is sacred within each of us.

For example, if we assume that the sum of our past experiences creates our identity, we are bound by our own sense of deficiency? Or what happens when the dreams and future goals we’ve set for ourselves and those around us fail to meet our expectations? Here, again, we pin ourselves to a deeply held internal sense that we are inadequate. Depression can ensue and the choices we make based on our darkness usually only serve to deepen our pain.

But according to the teaching there is way to uncover our light within the experience of darkness. Once we become intimate with our deepest longings, we see that there is a miraculous freedom that arises as the bonds of desperation start to break apart. Meditative work done consistently and intentionally shows each of us that our desires no longer have to govern our behaviors, our anger no longer has to weaken us, our avoidance patterns no longer need to rule us, nor does our tendency to doubt have to govern our choices, we can live in more expansive ways. This is the work. This is our path to peace.

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