The pull to fear and shrinkage, to judgment,
To retraction and ultimately to suffering
Is so strong it forces me
To take great mastery of myself
And be tuned in to my habitual thoughts
Each and every moment, over and over.
Vigilance is my best friend
But not the kind of armed vigilance
Of a prison guard, fearful of attack,
But the benevolent vigilance
Of a wise master
Who only has my best interest at heart.
Ruthless, compassionate vigilance,
That is intolerant of stories
Of poor me and oh woe is life.
Mastery takes years
And is only achieved one
Moment at a time.
Such is the beginners mind.
The path of compassionate vigilance
Is a choice.
Peace is not guaranteed by an experience
You must still walk the path,
And fall from grace
Dust yourself down
And walk on.