In this mornings meditation, I tried something different. I opened myself to the spaciousness of this existence, and allowed recollections of past lives.
To my surprise, it quickly came to me that my previous existence was that of a Monk. And I think that perhaps I was not that good at it, hence, in this life I needed to be an upasaka (sits with monks). For a long time now, I have felt this unexplainable connection to the Brotherhood of monastics. This would, in part, also explain my affinity towards monastics and my great love for all of them.
I observed that I was clinging to this, and let go of it to return to my breath and continue to open myself.
Almost immediately I saw that prior to being a Monk, I was a beggar. I had nothing, and lived on the streets. This might explain why material possessions have always seemed important to me. As I once had nothing, material possessions now seem to have such great importance.
Again, I let this go and returned to the breath.
What seemed like only moments later, I saw that I was a warrior prior to being a beggar. A noble warrior, but one who none the less killed many living beings. Perhaps this was the purpose of returning as a beggar. To learn the basic lessons of nothingness and humility.
Returning to the breath, I was sure that I had gone as far back as I could and relaxed into my breathing.
But again I went to a previous existence and saw that I was a Sherpa of sorts. A guide and helper to other people. I immediately saw the connection in my current character as one who finds joy in this service to others and happy to carry burdens.
I became abundantly aware that this is samsara. The cycle of rebirth that does not end until we awaken and attain nibbana (nirvana).
Could this happen for me in this lifetime? Perhaps, but it would seem unlikely. I am aware that I have so much yet to learn, and am only beginning to scratch the surface.
But how grateful I am for this lifetime and these lessons. How grateful for this impermanence and awareness. How wonderful that karma will follow the nature and put each of us in the exact place that we belong. Without question or expectation, we each continue on our path.
One day, may I see there is no happy or sad, there is just this.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.