The Big Squeeze!

with Norman Bray

May 5th

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    11am each Sunday in May - Please join us to work with this engaging topic!

    Includes a short presentation, discussion and meditation instruction!

    One situation that virtually all of us have found ourselves in, most likely with an annoying frequency, has to do with experiencing the difference between what we imagined aspects of life were going to be like and how life actually turns out.   As an adolescent we might have thought that we were somehow different than most other people, and that we would be able to participate in changes in the world, only to the find that the issues were much larger than our individual capabilities.  We may have aspired to become a leader who would finally do away with the injustice of racial discrimination. Several or many years later we are likely to discover that, while our aspirations were noble, the reality is that solving problems such as these are much more than one person can accomplish.  We have experienced the difference between our concepts of reality and how things actually are in the world.  Pema Chodron calls this realization the Big Squeeze.  She says we find ourselves between a rock and a hard place.

    The Big Squeeze may be experienced at many different levels, not just noble political aspirations such as ending racial discrimination.  The Big Squeeze can be experienced within the short time of merely 24 hours or less.  We can think that a job interview later in the day will be overwhelmingly positive because of our connections in the company and our experience in the domain of the position, only to find that, in actuality, the Director of Personnel that we had our interview with had no interest in our connections, experience, talents, or aspirations for the company.  Instead of being an overwhelming positive experience, we find out that the job will be given to one of the current employees who happens to be the nephew of the Director of Personnel.  So maybe within only a matter of hours we go from the heights of optimism, to the reality of the Big Squeeze.  Pema Chodron says that realizing the difference between imagined outcomes and reality can be a grounding experience, one that results in growth, even growing up as a person.  Where we go from the experience of the Big Squeeze depends on whether we take the experience as an injustice to us personally, or, see it as a direct experience of the difference between aspirations and reality.  It may be an experience that increases compassion for ourselves and others.  That growth could make a huge difference in our life and the lives of others.