Are You Used to Life?
Are you used to life? Life takes getting used to- even though we might have forgotten how we got used to it. I can't remember how I got over falling again and again, to finally learn to walk, as a toddler. And I wouldn't want to relive the days of being a child bullied at school, being lost at the mall, being spanked by Mum for disobedience... Then again, I don't think I really got used to life- not yet. Life at every stage, presents new challenges, new facets of Samsara (the cycle of birth and death), new experiences of Dukkha (dissatisfaction).But what is life, other than how your mind interprets this very moment's feelings and perceptions? Life is neither the future nor the past- it is now. Getting used to life is not that difficult then- it is learning how to live this one single moment properly- before the next moment arrives. The speed of time is 1 second per second, and that's how we should live it- not rushing to the future, living minutes or hours, or even days per second. And it is certainly not trying to turn back the one-way clock. All we have is now. All our unresolvable past regrets are exactly what they are- PAST regrets. Let them pass then. What's important is not having present and future regrets by not living this moment fruitfully. One of my favourite Dharma sayings is, "If you take care of each moment, you take care of all time." Don't worry about treading on uneven ground that lays ahead when the uneven ground isn't below your feet yet. Just be aware of the ground you walk upon. The more mindfully you learn to tread each step now, the least threat uneven ground will have for you.We either really get used to life or only think we do. How and when do we know we are really used to life? It is when we are able to let life go graciously- when we die, along with our attachments. The end of life is part and parcel of life. It's the ultimate test, is it not? Getting used to life also means getting used to the truth of impermanence, that we will grow old, get ill, and die. There are days when I feel confident, relishing in well-being, having the illusion that I'd finally gotten used to life, having mastered it. Something would inevitably happen some time later, presenting the truth of Dukkha- that dissatisfaction is prevalent in spiritually complacent and stagnent life. It is at times like these that we realise we had grown numb to this first noble truth of the prevalence of dissatisfaction in life. It is like the state of being reborn into the realms of the gods (devas), thinking good life is forever, not knowing good times are but the fruits of limited good karma.
What I know for sure is this- we were obviously not used to life in our last life. We did not learn to graciously let life go- we craved for new life... and here we are right here right now, prisoners of attachment. I see life as an interval between (re)birth and (re)death, an opportunity for us to learn to get used to life and death, an opportunity to learn to let go of all our excess baggage of Craving (attachment or greed), Aversion (ill-will or hatred) and Delusion (ignorance). That is all we have to let go- nothing else- to be free, so as to truly cultivate the Compassion and Wisdom to love all beings, like the Buddhas. Let's learn to truly get used to life. Are you getting used to life? Or are you already used to it?
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