By: Tory  |  Published: September 22nd, 2013   |  Category: Tory Shulman News


girl floating in water

When I get ready to go out on the town I usually turn up the volume on some Buddhist teachings. No, it’s not Kanye but it’s something.


I was listening to Pema Chodron tonight from her book “Coming Closer to Ourselves.”


She made this very cool point that I hadn’t thought of before.


She says: “Life is just a succession of agreeable and disagreeable. Over and over and over again.”

It’s a profound thought. Life isn’t a straight line. Life isn’t a road you pick for yourself. Life isn’t even a highway even thought that’s  a great fucking song.

Life is a succession of agreeable and disagreeable. Over and over and over again.

Life goes up and life comes down and then goes up and then goes down and at NO point does it flat line. It is CONSTANTLY moving up or down or somewhere in the middle.  If you keep trying to get it to go straight–you will do nothing but suffer more.

Pema explained this theory once using the terms: Rock Logic and Water Logic. This lecture kinda blew my mind since it is such a visual way of looking at things.

Rock logic means interpreting your life as if there were stone beneath your feet at all times. Thick, sturdy, rock that is predictable and will constantly be there to support your feet whether you turn right or left. If you did make a turn it would be a 90 degree angle into more stone and rock.  This is what human beings actually crave. We crave consistency and predictability and familiarity.  We don’t like surprises or twists or mysteries when they suddenly jump out at us from the middle of nowhere.

Only problem is that life is nothing like this.

At all.

Like, not even a little bit.

Water logic means interpreting your life as if you were in constantly underwater. Fluid, flexible shifting water that is never the same and constantly changing. There are no hard angles or sharp corners underwater there is just more space that flows up in the waves and then flows down in the waves. You can never predict the size of the next wave or the speed of the current. It’s always changing.

This is a better representation of what life is really like. Constantly shifting and unpredictable ways. Now, you can fight it all want–which is what almost all humans do–or you can lay on your back and “go with the flow.” You can let your body relax and move up when there is a wave and move down when it recedes without freaking out about it each time.

Life is a succession of agreeable and disagreeable over and over and over again.

Float on people.