Things Fall Apart

Photograph of pelicans by Celeste Budwit-Hunter

When people ask what has helped me “stay positive” on my cancer journey, I should just quote Pema Chödrön. She summarizes the approach that has been the basis of my dharmic path for half my life. I would be miserable without it.

“Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.” (from When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön)

Maria Popova, brilliant writer of Brain Pickings, highlights these teachings in a recent blog post

The “letting there be room for all of this to happen” is an attitude and practice firmly grounded in the experience of meditation. Meditation is the foundation, in my experience and according to traditional teachings, for developing genuine openness, cheerfulness, and bravery.


  1. Hi Celeste, Thx for sending the Brain Pickings. Just finished reading. Will need to go thru it a few times. Havent yet looked at any of the links – Nitschke, etc. Signed up for weekly Brain Pic newsletter, so, again, thx for the lead. Was reminded a short while ago of the Vipassana 10 day meditation retreats/courses. Talked to a few who’ve just done it in Kathmandu, and decided to look into it. KTM has no openings fo ra while, but Pokara does, so i applied just this week for a session beginning Aug 1, and got in. Its too soon, but im gonna forgo some thgs i wanted to see b4 leaving KTM and go up Sunday, and be ready for the start on Tues. This will be a challenge, but i look forward to it. 10 day silent meditation, only talking to course instructors. They ask that u make a commitmant to stay the whole 10 days, so thats what i will try to do. Feeling a bit more energetic, but not great. Last week, was hoping to finally go see a lot of thgs in the KTM area that ive not been to yet, but came up w/ severe sore tooth, plus sore throat and ear ache. 4 or 5 days dentist and doctor visits. Tooth was pulled, but not til just 2 days ago (but the pain was taken care of last week). So, even tho ive been in KTM about 2 and 1/2 months, could use a little more time, but if i didnt do the Aug 1 Vipassana, i’d have to wait until Sept 1, dont want to do that. Way behind getting logistic stuff done, mostly re getting my travel insurance claims in for all the med stuff over the last 2 months. Better go work on that, so thats all for now. Doing mostly ok, a little less lonely, but that still rears its head a bit, like today. Could use a steady local friend.  Give my hugs and kisses to Nic and Emma (mostly b/c i want to see Nic’s reaction to that). b2

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to hear from you, Brad. Thanks for commenting. So sorry about your further health challenges, but it’s good to hear you can get the care you need. I’m so glad you’re doing the retreat! Yes, hugs and kisses all around!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s