Today I am trying to be more aware of my own circumstances, but also more connected to others situations. Easily we all tend to get caught up in our own lives and personal drama. Whether big or small, it’s all subjective really. An example might be how badly my back or feet hurt, and it seems like I suffer alone and no one can do much to eliminate my pain. It’s my pain and I own it! And while this may sit forefront on my mind, the reality is that so many people are dealing with far more extreme situations and struggles than I face right now. I think back to my recent loss of my beloved Chow Chow, and how devastating that was for me and my Family. Prior to that, I remember the feeling of losing my dear Sister-in-law to breast cancer. Hardships feel very personal, and most of the time I think we all feel very isolated. Our suffering is personal and intimate, and often beyond any words that can possibly express our feelings.
As I watch the posts show up on Facebook, I realize that everyone is self-absorbed to a great degree. Myself included. Seeing things only through our eyes and our heart, we each express our joys, fears, anger and pain. Some of us often trying to offer a motivation quote or image to hap inspire others, yet even that is truly a self-centered projection. Caught up so deeply in the idea that what we think, how we feel and see things, is the right way – the clear way. But today I am coming to see the delusional nature in this typical behavior. We paint ourselves into a box when we allow this inside outward type of view. Seeing the World only through our own eyes and experiences. And while you might think we have no choice but to see the World in this way, I would disagree. This whole idea of self is the center of delusion and ignorance (avijja), and the basis of this practice is to break free of the bondage we create by believing this.
While I am not by any means free of this myself, I do see there is clearly a path away from it. And a good place to start is to see others through their eyes instead of your own. That most annoying person in your day does not see themselves that way, only you see it that way. And I find that a helpful way to encourage this mindfulness is by remembering always that the person in front of you may very well be the Buddha or Jesus. And by seeing one another in this way, I think we can open our hearts with genuine unconditional love and acceptance. And it is perhaps in this way that we can allow ourselves to become Buddha’s. This I believe is possible for each and every one of us. To awaken the Buddha within.
And with life rushing by, none of us have time to waste by being separate or disconnected. You Brothers and Sisters, Mothers and Fathers, Sons and Daughters, are all around you. Love yourself, love them, let go of the expectations and accept them as your Family. Let go of your own views and desires long enough to be connected with all others around you and far away.
Perhaps we can each start with a warm smile to a stranger, or a little extra patience (khanti) with that telemarketer that calls you today. I say “let it begin with me”.