Remembering How to Fly

Photo © Hane Selmani 2015

I think that all of us are like eagles who have forgotten that we know how to fly. The teachings are reminding us who we are and what we can do. They help us notice that we’re in a nest with a lot of old food and old diaries, excrement and stale air. From when we were very young we’ve had this longing to see those mountains in the distance and experience that big sky and the vast ocean, but somehow we got trapped in that nest, just because we forgot that we knew how to fly. We are like eagles, but we have on underwear and pants and shirt and socks and shoes and a hat and coat and boots and mittens and a Walkman and dark glasses, and it occurs to us that we could experience that vast sky, but we’d better start taking off some of this stuff. So we take off the coat and the hat and it’s cold, but we know that we have to do it, and we teeter on the edge of the nest and we take off. Then we find out for ourselves that everything has to go. You just can’t fly when you are wearing socks and shoes and coats and pants and underwear. Everything has to go.

Chapter 22 ‘Train Wholeheartedly’ – Start Where You Are, by Pema Chödrön, The final chapter