Nowhere To Hide

In the recent book by Pema Chodron titled Living Beautifully…with uncertainty and change (Shambhala 2012) Chapter Nine is called “Nowhere To Hide.”

We are studying this book in my ongoing NVC (nonviolent communication) group in Crestone, Colorado because it brings a Buddhist perspective to the subject of living transparently. It is also is one of the first and finest examples of a Western Buddhist teacher able to speak clearly and knowingly about experiencing feelings and needs, which forms the backbone of NVC practice and study.

In this chapter, Pema speaks of the need, when we wish to live a full and present life, to come out of hiding behind our dark emotional reactivity behaviors such as blame, judgment, criticism, withdrawal, attack, aggression and other defense mechanisms that cloud our basic nature of compassion.

The following Chapter Ten is titled “Charnel Ground” where the subject of hiding ourselves behind various false personas is stripped bare to reveal who we really are without shame, restraint or bravado…to embrace what is.

A charnel ground is a scary place in some Asian countries where the dead are brought to decay and be eaten by various animals. In some yogic meditation traditions yogis aspiring to freedom and enlightenment spend time there to deepen and transform their meditation practice. In this way, hidden beliefs are uncovered.

We hold many beliefs that we are not aware of, that are hiding yet dictating our behavior, our speech, thoughts, judgments, etc.

So, since NVC is a tool for developing transparency via mindfulness and awareness, it should be a juicy journey for all spiritual seekers to spend time looking into the tapestry of our fragile identity woven by the clandestine interaction of beliefs and hiding.

What need is met by hiding? I am beginning to ask myself this as I begin to see myself better. And the beat goes on.

The CHARNEL GROUND ENERGY is to see what’s there, whether we like it or not. And to accept what’s there, and also to see into the wide river of attachment that flows deep in the psyche of all, the attachment that binds us to a false and limiting identity, that limits our options and freedom, and that steals much of the joy and fun that is there when we completely relax into our pure essence.
–Paul Shippee

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