It’s impossible to own anything; a possession, a person, a child, nothing at all. These things are not yours and could never be. One way or another, you’ll eventually discover this to be true. To accept this is both freeing and uplifting, but it might take some getting used to.
It’s easy to get caught by things that are not catchable. Take stock: names on a piece of paper are all that can be shown to demonstrate something as being yours. Temporary lease holders at best – squatters perhaps, but certainly nothing to spend a life trying to acquire, possess and maintain. Enjoy the temporary illusion of what you have, but recognize the illusion, before the illusion possesses you. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the display, but recognize it for what it is, a temporary feast for the sense faculties.
The Dalai Lama described this condition, the human condition, to a group of monks sitting on a hillside in the Indian Himalayas seventeen years ago.
He stated to us that the suffering of human beings was a life spent by trying to:
(1) We get what we want
(2) We maintain what we have
(3) We spend our lives trying to be near people we like
(4) We avoid people we don’t like. He said, with regard to these four things: these thoughts are futile, impossible, an illusion that brings suffering. Enjoy the illusions of life, respect their momentariness, their impermanence, but without attachment.
The litmus test: Stand in front of a loved one, a child, a friend or a possession and say to yourself, “This is not mine, this does not belong to me.” Feel how that resonates. If a smile comes to your face and you can breathe easily, this is recognition. If there is suffering, take the time to contemplate, explore and examine just exactly how you rationalize that this could be yours.
Free your Mind🌷
In the midst of all the beauty that this world has to offer, yesterday was particularly rough. I drove down the rural road toward the safety and serenity of the meditation center that I call home. This time of year is more magical than usual as the surrounding ranch style houses seem to be filled with joy from the twinkling lights and decorations of Christmas.
My home – spacious, silent, and peaceful. Huge oak trees with enchanting Spanish moss hanging from the limbs stand beside a beautiful pond; the water is reflecting the setting sun perfectly. I came home to a welcoming garland on the door, the scent of fresh pine and presents wrapped beneath an ornate tree. The refrigerator is filled, the pantry is stocked. A loving family awaits me. There is abundance here. Other friends are already victoriously toasting and sending 2014 off with bottles of champagne.
So bittersweet. If only you had been there with me. If you could have heard the pain. The lives that were shared with me yesterday would be enough to break the strongest of hearts. I came home with tears streaming while driving down this dusty country road. An overdose of suffering – another child has succumbed to addiction. The despair of loss, grief, and loneliness will surely follow. The death of a husband, another friend with cancer, and so much more. Just know that there are walking wounded among us, they put on the loveliest of faces, the best of clothes, and it’s hard to tell who’s who just by looking.
Today I pray for those who are suffering deeply, may prayers of loving kindness and compassion reach you. May you not shut down. May you find the courage necessary to allow your heart to stay open. May you forgive yourself and others. May you stay soft and may the world show you its beauty once more. This too shall pass, and tomorrow you will figure out how to put yourself back together again. Try not to define yourself by your wounds, but instead stay loving, open, vulnerable and trust that light always follows the darkness. You are loved. You are not alone.🌷
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