The Third Commitment


“Chaos should be regarded as extremely good news.” – Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

In her book Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change, Pema Chodron writes “I complained to Chogyam Trungpa that I felt as if I would jump out of my skin.  I was irritated by even specs of dust and ready to snap at people all the time.  He replied this was because the practice was demanding that I be sane, demanding that I grow up, and I wasn’t used to that yet.”

“The attitude of the third commitment is that we live in a world that is intrinsically good, intrinsically awake, and our path is to realize this.  Simply put, the practice at this stage is to turn toward your experience, all of it, and never turn away.”

If we believe good exists, that is all we will see.  We will look out our window and see the perfection: the sun rises, birds sing, plants grow, water flows and it all has a perfect rhythm. When we live in this flow, it’s as if we are protected by a force field.  Only love penetrates our inner being and we remain joyful.

If fear should creep in, it does not fester and spread.  It simply is noticed, felt, and then dissipates along with all other negative emotion.  We return to a blissful state that creates vast space for love to flourish.  As love expands in our thoughts, so it expands in our world.  Love spreads in our minds, hearts and outward energy, like blooming jasmine, with it’s pleasing fragrance, for all to enjoy.

To the ego these may seem like flowery sentiments with little rational grounding.  The ego that chooses to have this view will be right of course.  For those of us who seek enlightenment, despite our ego judgments, this is one of many paths we may enjoy.

The everyday practice of the Third Commitment is to practice total acceptance and openness to situations and emotions.  This especially holds true toward self.  Instead of judging ourselves (or others), we decide to experience what is, without mental reservations or blockages.

When a negative thought arises, we notice it, feel it, and then allow it to sit there.  We do not engage in negative self talk that we are broken, unfit or that something must be wrong with us just because an uncomfortable thought or feeling arises.

We can choose humor.  After all, how funny for us to have a negative thought and then attach more negative thoughts for having a negative thought and then we wonder why we get depressed or have some loveless reaction.  Can you relate to doing this also?

Even funnier is how do we know this is even our thought?

Someone may have thought a negative thing about us and we felt this negative thought. We all remember those times when we feel the negativity of another towards us.  We walk away with negative thoughts in our own minds.  If we can be conduits for spreading joy, then we can also be conduits for spreading negativity.

So no need for us to think that every negative thought is our own.  We only need to decide and practice the simple formula:  we notice it, feel it, and then allow it to sit there.   It will pass if we direct our energy to love.  It will grow stronger and stay longer if we focus our energy on more negative thoughts about the negative thought.

If someone is trying to harm us, which simply means they are not holding love in their heart and minds toward us, then we can create a protective energetic forcefield.  This can be done in imagery of fire burning away all which is not love.  We can mentally visualize being surrounded by white light.  We can create a mantra or recite a prayer that protects us.   Any time we give intent to love, then it will grow.

Below are some examples.

All acts of negativity will now return to thee.  All bad you try to send my way upon your own self will hold sway.  All actions, thoughts and words of hate become your own decided fate.  By all up high, the worlds and wise, by oceans wide and deep blue skies, by day and night, and powers three, this is my will, so it must be.  Harm to none, nor return on me.  Smoke of air and fire and earth, cleanse and bless this home and hearth.  Drive away all harm and fear; only good may enter here.

Accept the light.  Be the light.  Share the light.

In this way we become a conduit that takes all energy and converts it into love to send back out to the world.  When others do this it grows in energy output.  We fill this in large groups at A.A. meetings, churches, meditation groups, fitness groups, yoga groups or anytime we gather in the spirit of love.


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