Ground: Zero

As I write this, it’s four days away from September 11, 2011 – 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City (& the Pentagon). It also marks 10 years of a “war on terror.”

On my walk this morning the title of this post came into my head. Ground: zero.

As wise Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön reminds us in her wonderful books, we humans are always trying (unsuccessfully!) to get solid ground beneath us. We think if we just get a new partner, or a new job, or get rich, or thin, or super-organized, or a divorce, or become famous, get that book published, retire, buy a house – whatever – then, finally,  “everything will be alright.”

Such slow learners!!

There is no solid ground – there never will be! As I suspect I’ve said elsewhere, this can either make us crazy – or set us free!

Once we know that all those things we chase will never bring us some kind of magical permanent peace or satisfaction – & that the ground, & our lives, may literally shake & open up beneath us at any moment, we are freed to live in this moment…yes, this one that we are always somehow trying to run away from to that…experience, or relationship, or success, or task or … whatever.

So. No ground. And who would know that better than the people who lost loved ones at Ground Zero in New York City, ten years ago now?

In Taking the Leap – Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears, Pema Chödrön says, “How we relate moment by moment to what is happening on the spot is all there really is. We give up all hope of fruition and in the process we just keep learning what it means to appreciate being right here.”

Right here, right now. Ground: zero.


P.S. As for the “war on terror,” well duh…have we still not learned that he who lives by the sword will die by the sword? (Did I already mention that we human beings are awfully slow learners??)

‘Quote of the day’  with this post: “It seems we all have the tendency to move away from the present moment. It’s as if this habit is built into our DNA.” – Pema Chödrön