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This life's lesson

Attachment. Impermanence.

One of my aunties died yesterday, in her sleep. She was diagnosed with leukemia just over a year ago. She was hospitalised for a really harsh chemo regimen just after I finished radiotherapy. While I was down south having radiotherapy, we visited a few times as she lived down there. Although we knew she had cancer, none of us knew she was that sick. We we're told she was really sick, but she was having chemo at the time (again) so assumed it was the chemo. I won't be able to go to the funeral as I will be in Western Australia.

This has been a huge shock, but it is yet another reminder to me about impermanence.

I wrote a blog a few days ago that got eaten by the blog monster. A kind of a meditation on attachment and letting go. Theres no way I can recreate it, unfortunately (I was in a serene, instead of sad, state then).

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Recently I received the BEST surprise gift from overseas. Two Buddhist books (and a GORGEOUS bookmark!). The one I'm reading at the moment is 'Going Nowhere, Being Nobody' by Ayya Khema and it is such a simple, beautiful book. Just reading it gives me great peace. The other is 'Buddhism for Mothers: A calm approach to caring for yourself and your children' by Sarah Napthali. I'm very much looking forward to getting into that one as well.

One thing that has been made very clear to me is this lifes lesson: letting go of attachment. Yes, I knew it intellectually, but I get it at a soul level now. Last week I was plagued by a series of different dreams I had, one night after the next, about my relationship with my mother. (As a child I felt she actively hated me; there was certainly no emotional mothering, although we have a nice relationship now, like a friendship. This has resulted in me apparently having an attachment disorder. Me, I'm the anxious/ambivalent type). For a long time, but particularly after these three nights I had had enough, I was SO tired of carrying around these attachment/abandonment issues. They are heavy, and incredibly wearying. I don't WANT them anymore; I just want them to drop off me. I told myself that night that was it, I did not want to dream about it anymore. And I didnt. Clearly I still have a lot of work to do here, but the intention is well and truly growing in my neural pathways

Of course, we all have attachment issues of some sort, we all have areas of our life, or people, we need to let go of. People or things that don't serve a positive purpose in our lives. Baggage we lug around on our backs throughout our lives. The philosophy of Buddhism really makes a lot of sense to me. I don't intend embracing Buddhism as my religion, but there is a lot of it I want to incorporate into my lifestyle.

This idea of impermanence. What we think of real life is an illusion. There is NOTHING permanent in this world. Apart from the knowledge that we are all going to die one day. That is the only one sure thing. The past has gone and doesn't exist anymore, the future hasn't happened and doesn't exist yet all there is, is this ONE moment. This one breath. Everything is mutable, fluid, moving and impermanent. Nothing is solid; everything is made up of atoms, which are made up of energy. There is SPACE between atoms. The people in our lives are impermanent. They come and they go, whether through death or other ways, and you can't do anything about that.

The practice of mindfulness isn't easy. And neither, strangely, is meditation. But I know what a difference they make to my well being. Simply meditating on the incoming and outgoing breaths, on the nostrils, is incredibly difficult (trying to tame monkey-mind), but helps me develop a strong, calm core. There are other things besides my mothering issues I need to let go of. Relationships with people that don't treat friendships with equality as an equal flow of give and take. I don't have a large circle of friends. I have quite a small circle, but those friendships I do have are special. Perhaps I don't view friendship in the same way as most people I don't know. But I can't have a large circle of friends. To me, they aren't friends, they are people you know, perhaps like, but there is no SOUL in the relationship. Acquaintances. No, I prefer my way.

Yes, there are people I need to let go out of my life as their actions don't gel with their words, or vice versa. People who are only interested in themselves, and don't participate in a two-way relationship, who are only in it for what they can get for THEMSELVES. And here, also, is a battle with trust. If I trust a person in the first place, but they then say or do something that doesn't honour the friendship, then, ridiculously maybe, my trust is injured. My trust is hurt (even in a physical sense). I probably won't believe you anymore. Why should I? Betray trust once, and it will always happen again. Yes, these I must let go of. I am trying to do it with loving kindness behind it. Of course, being human, there are times when anger gets the better of me and negative emotions take hold, but I am ATTEMPTING to let go with loving kindness.

I am going to Western Australia for three weeks on Tuesday. I will still have internet access, as I will be studying probably 75% of the time, so correspondence will not suffer. I am looking forward to it with near desperation. My time in Western Australia nearly always feels like spiritual refreshment.

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Posted in Business Post Date 04/22/2018


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