January 20th, 2010

zen

positive obstacles

From today's Tricycle email:

When we get sick, our suffering can put us in touch with the pain of others. When things go well, however, our mind easily accepts this. Like oil absorbing into our skin, attachment to favorable circumstances blends smoothly and invisibly into our thoughts and feelings. Without realizing what's happening, we can become infatuated with our achievements, fame, and wealth. It's difficult to extricate ourselves from positive obstacles. If we could have everything we wish for—wealth, a comfortable house, nice clothing—he advises us to view this good fortune as illusory, like a beautiful dream, and not let it seduce us into complacency.

- Pema Chödrön, from "Cutting Ties: The Fruits of Solitude" (Winter, 2005)

The phrase I bolded there particularly caught my attention.