Who is me, why is there a me, why do I have this life, for what purpose? Is this even “my” life?
These are perhaps some real mind-bending questions for each of us. And personally, I find them extremely difficult to tackle.
Obviously, this life is transitory, so it is impossible to pick one moment and define the self. For as soon as I do, I have already changed. That thought has transformed, mutated, my cells have degenerated, the breath I was enjoying has long since passed.
But isn’t it important to know who we are, and why we are here? What purpose we serve on this planet and in this life. Or are we each just tumbling tumbleweeds of flesh and bone that come and go from this existence?
I asked Bhante Sumana this question, “Why are we born?”, and his reply was quite simple. He said it is to offer love and compassion.
And while most of us might easily agree with that, or at least think it is a Noble thought, we must question if this is how we live our own lives.
And I can see that what I do now, by writing this post, is with a clear intention of sharing my love and compassion with each of you. But this does not mean that all my thoughts and feelings have this kind of intention. Still, I can observe thoughts of selfishness, greed, clinging, desire, and ignorance. And with those conditions, there can be no clarity of a life with such Noble direction. My mind is still scattered and capricious, like the Autumn leaves falling from the trees.
Back to the cushion I go for further training. And while there are no answers on the cushion, I observe this futile attempt that I still make each day at grounding myself in things that are not solid. And I suppose I will continue to do this until I am able to completely let go. And this means to fully understand the Five Hindrances.
- Sensual desire: Craving for pleasure to the senses.
- Anger or ill-will: Feelings of malice directed toward others.
- Sloth-torpor or boredom: Half-hearted action with little or no concentration.
- Restlessness-worry: The inability to calm the mind.
- Doubt: Lack of conviction or trust.
And while we cannot force ourselves to grasp these truths, I do believe that with practice and gentle determination they will become clear to each of us that pursue liberation. They will become clear to me.
As for today, perhaps it is enough to just ask ourselves very sincerely, “Why was I born?”.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.