(“Playing basketball on Lazy Day at Deer Park Monastery in mid-June.”)
When ordinary people die they are out of control. Because they have not trained themselves during their life, they are overwhelmed by the experience of death and bewildered as their bodily elements go out of balance and cease to function harmoniously.
~ Lama Thubten Yeshe
This quote inspired such an amazing moment of awareness and compassion in me. On a lot of levels, I already knew what the Venerable Lama Yeshe said, but it was good to read and think on this separately. (Especially as, one of these days, as soon as I can, I want to get involved in hopsice work. It’s a place I genuinely feel I could help. And it sort of “runs in the family.”)
So, life continues to be interesting. I struggle with how I feel about the difficulties that keep cropping up. We are well off, by whole world standards, but not well off by American (US) standards. (I’ll spare you the details, but I do not think I’m being false by saying lots of things are a current struggle.) It is difficult to feel comfortable in my own skin right now, so I have whittled down my practice to simply trying to accept where things are and to be joyfully mindful of being alive.
(I’m totally going to go ahead and get the movie now…..)
If this embed doesn’t work, and you’ve yet to see Susan Boyle‘s performance (it went viral this weekend on the ‘net) – please click here and watch this all the way through: YouTube – Susan Boyle – Singer – Britains Got Talent 2009. (You could also click on the image above to get to it.) I think you’ll be glad you did.
The fourth element of true love is upeksha, which means equanimity, nonattachment, nondiscrimination, even-mindedness, or letting go. Upa means “over,” and iksh means “to look.” You climb the mountain to be able to look over the whole situation, not bound by one side or the other. If your love has attachment, discrimination, prejudice, or clinging in it, it is not true love. People who do not understand Buddhism sometimes think upeksha means indifference, but true equanimity is neither cold nor indifferent. If you have more than one child, they are all your children. Upeksha does not mean that you don’t love. You love in a way that all your children receive your love, without discrimination.
Upeksha has the mark called samatajñana, “the wisdom of equality,” the ability to see everyone as equal, not discriminating between ourselves and others.
Love is the capacity to take care, to protect, to nourish. If you are not capable of generating that kind of energy toward yourself – if you are not capable of taking care of yourself, of nourishing yourself, of protecting yourself – it is very difficult to take care of another person.
All my life I have tended to gravitate towards the hardest, most difficult road I can take. I’ve been that way since I was little. When I was 5 or 6, it was decided that I was too forceful a person – too full of myself is how I once had it explained to me by my parents. So in the first grade (I started school a bit young), a concerted effort was undertaken by my parents and teacher to “take me down a peg.” That was a hard year for me. I love my parents and know that they did not mean me real harm, but their efforts with my teacher that year were very successful. I have long since struggled with issued of self-worth and self-confidence. This is part of my Origin.
So I do what I do, and I am what I am. I sit, I practice. I try to practice mindfulness. I dissect, dissolve and attempt to release what I grasp after.
The great practitioners of nonviolence have never turned their heads or shrunk away from their own or others’ suffering. Knowing the downfalls of aggression, they have been able to respond with wisdom and broad-mindedness. This type of wisdom and courage grows from our commitment to understanding our own mind and reactions and the causes and results of our actions. We develop the ability to accurately read and respond to the world around us without rejecting it. This is the practice of nonviolence. Of course this takes some maturity. We really need to cultivate this kind of maturity.
I found a quote I really liked in the book I’m reading right now:
“…we often still find ourselves disengaged from our own clarity, moving along without thinking….”
That’s exactly it – I really can grok this – for me it’s like residing a half-step away from being present.
Perhaps with a “deeper breath” and a more mindful effort I can “let go” and ease down into this clarity more often.
Hi all – long time no blog, eh?
No great insights here – just living life. Remaining mindful and aware can be a tremendous challenge in the day to day of a life with a marriage, kids, a budget.
I very much wish that some of the great Buddhist teachers had shared this life, and had commented on it. Even the Buddha stepped away from these visceral issues whilst he sought Understanding.
I love the path I’ve chosen. I love my marriage, my husband. I love my kids. I love my 2 cats and 1 dog. I love the challenge of my life – I am grateful that I have the opportunity to grow and learn so much. It’s all very good, if challenging to my mindfulness, my peace of heart. I’m content with it all.
The only lack of faith I have is in myself. Mindfulness makes it easier to see exactly where I am, and what is going on. Still, it doesn’t always provide me with the answers I need to adjust the way I do things. How does one shift to a healthier, saner way of being? I’m sure I’ll figure it out. Time to find my cushion, methinks….
…wow, can’t believe it’s been a month!
The last month has been busy and a test of my gumption. There’s been a lot going on.
We’ve got our 12 year old newly enrolled in a virtual school, which is turning out to be a stressful transition, even though it eliminates a lot of his previous school stresses and difficulties. (He’s very bright and has a real, honest to goodness case of ADD/ADHD – not the fad diagnosis, but the real deal.) On top of that, we’ve chosen to homeschool our middle son – he’d be in kindergarten this year, but he’s shown rapid development of OCD. They’re both wonderful, intelligent kids, but I’ve had my hands full. Oh – I’ve got a 3 year old, too. ‘Nuff said on that one.
On top of that are various “real life issues.” Always working on that whole ends-meeting bit….
Suffice it to say, whilst I have attempted to make every moment an opportunity for mindfulness, I must admit my daily meditative practice has slipped.
Now that things are beginning to calm down, time to begin anew….