The Cook Awakening

Archive for March, 2019

The Blessing of Impermanence

March 25, 2019
Posted in: Life on Life's Terms, Living with Health Challenges, Seasonal Change, Spiritual Practice

“I’m afraid if I really allow myself to feel what’s going on with me, the feelings will never stop. I’ll be lost, forever weeping or shaking, and I’ll never feel good again.”

I think we all experience some version of this. I know my clients do. I do! Even though the path through this “resistance to what is” is very familiar to me, I still have to navigate some version of “I don’t want to feel this!” when unpleasant emotions arise.

It’s natural. It’s human. So, before I proceed any further, please know that. There’s no criticism needed in this scenario. My goal is to tenderly support you in being utterly human, in all it’s aspects. It’s what your soul took birth to be.

However, the resistance to feeling can lead us into greater suffering than is actually necessary.

My dad played American football in high school. I remember him telling us the story about the time he broke his arm, and didn’t know it for two weeks. He continued to play during that time.

He broke his arm and didn’t know it for two weeks. Now, that’s resisting pain!

Once they figured out that something was wrong, he had ground the bone around the fracture to little bits. He wore a cast for over a year in order to heal. (He continued to play football the entire time, and broke the cast a number of times. His doctors would replace it, and he’d keep playing.)

He grew up in an environment where it was clear — you do not feel your pain. I won’t go deeper into that, there’s ancestral patterns I’ve been working with for years that led to his high tolerance for discomfort. My point in using this example is simple.

If he’d been able to experience his pain when he first felt it he’d have known something was wrong, and he’d only have had to wear a cast for 6 — 8 weeks. Compared to over a year. My suspicion is that if he’d taken a break from playing football, he would have healed faster, too.

This is a pretty concrete example that carries over into the realm of other kinds of human feelings. How it works in the case of emotions is a bit different, though.

The geese are easy with the day’s end

There’s a core truth taught in many spiritual paths. It’s often experienced as a truth that people don’t like, but it has a vast benefit as well.


March 3, 2019
Posted in: Grief, Life on Life's Terms, Living with Health Challenges, Spiritual Practice

I hear some version of this statement a lot from clients. “Life feels hard, but so many people have it worse than me. I should be able to manage my life better. It’s my fault that I’m suffering, I should just be able to get over it.”

Last year I had the good fortune to be able to sit with and participate in a discussion with Lama Rod Owens, co-author of Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation. An excellent book, highly recommended. Lama Rod is a self described Black, queer male. He is recognized as a teacher in the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism after receiving his teaching authorization from his root teacher the Venerable Lama Norlha Rinpoche.

Emerging Buddha

A question was asked by a white participant about how to deal with the guilt of realizing how much Black folks had suffered at the hands of white people.

Lama Rod was very clear. “You can’t talk to me about my lineage and suffering until you really know your own lineage and the suffering there.”