In this mornings meditation, it became more clear and present to me that more I care about something or someone, the more that I suffer when I lose them. A powerful example for me personally, was the loss of my Mother when she died. I had never felt such pain and sorrow before in my life.
But so many other examples exist in lesser and greater ways. The loss of friendships, material possessions, even the loss of my youth can all be sources of great suffering and sadness.
And I see that the stronger our attachment is, then the more that we suffer when it’s gone. Which would lead one to believe that it is unwise and unskilful to form these powerful attachments and feelings. Yet I do not see this as being Right View or Right Action.
This practice has helped me to learn the most important realities about life. It is impermanent (anicca).
And with an increasing understanding and awareness of this, suffering (dukkha) subsides. And I see this quite clearly in the way I now handle losses and separation as compared to the way I did a year ago or ten years ago. And I also see that my love and connectedness is in fact deeper and broader in scope than ever before. No longer seeing someone or something as mine. Possessive and selfish love, has been replaced with a far more unconditional love. One without ownership, desire, control or possessiveness. In fact, I no longer see that as genuine love but instead an unskilful delusion and fabrication. You can’t lose what you never really had.
I have found that the Buddha’s teaching of dana (giving) is such a powerful foundation for understanding this life. That by letting go, we each gain so much. We let go of our attachments, desire less, benefit others without expectation, and we increase our wisdom in finding the liberation and freedom of letting go. And in reality, we will have to let go of everything at some point, either sooner or later. So why not see and come to understand this now, while can be of such great benefit to yourself and others?
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, perhaps today is a good start to start giving thanks. For this life, your Family and friends, your church or temple. And see clearly that they are not yours, and with that you can offer all of your loving-friendliness and compassion. Giving to each of them without expectation and experiencing the sympathetic joy (mudita) of wholesome thoughts and actions that create ripples of kindness (kusala) and goodwill.
May you each be well, happy and peaceful.