My “HaHa” Moment

By: Tory  |  Published: August 16th, 2011   |  Category: Buddhism, Funny Stuff, pema chodron, Relationships, Tory Shulman News, women

I know Buddhism and hilarity don’t usually go hand in hand but just listen to this story my Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron recently told. Trust me, it’s a “haha” moment.

Pema relayed to the group that a couple of years ago she was leading a 2 week retreat titled: “Drive All Blames into One.” The retreat was meant to emphasize the utter importance of looking inward in every situation, even if you think you did nothing wrong. One must always take responsibility for the part they played.

At the end of the two weeks Pema was answering questions when a hand shot up, defiant and waving.

Pema: “Yes. You with the hand up. What is your question?”
Question Guy: “Yes I have to say I’m really confused. I’ve sat here for two weeks trying to figure it out but I just can’t get it. Why the hell are we driving all blames into Juan?”

Yes he had misheard the teaching. But Pema saw the potential in the confusion. She immediately changed the title to “Drive all blames into Juan and Juanita” and from then on used the teaching to emphasize that this is what we usually do…blame the Juans or Juanitas in our lives instead of driving blame into ONE…ourselves.

Recently I came face to face with “Juan” when I was trying to figure out my next career move. I was contemplating my future and feeling quite frustrated that I was not currently on a well written sitcom like Frasier. I blamed my manager for not doing enough. I blamed my agent for not doing enough. NO joke, I even blamed my mom and dad for not getting me out to audition earlier in my life.

Thankfully I had just listened to Pema’s “Juan” teachings and was able to put a hold on my “blame campaign.” Ok I said to myself, how can I drive these blames into myself? What can I do to help further my career? What aren’t I doing that I could be doing?

I made a list.
1) Get back into acting class
2) Get back into improv
3) Create a web show for myself
4) Gather more fans from blogging and tweeting
5) Get in great shape
6) Find a wardrobe that won’t make me look like I’m in my second trimester.

So I dove in, head first and now I’m busier than ever and finally seeing some moves in the right direction. The lesson here is when you find yourself pointing your finger at everyone else but yourself, remember Juan and Juanita and take a nice long look inside.