RE: [TBG] RE: Rigpa Glimpse of the Day
It was a great series of losses that made me finally seek out a Buddhist community. My husband and I lost both of his parents, and my father and a favorite uncle within a very short period of time, and there was a lot of illness and suffering leading up to those events. I had started a new job and lost a good dog friend just before my father had a serious injury and my mother had a stroke. What I found myself doing was working too much (wearing big blinders while I did so!) and driving up and down the highway to help my family, and sleeping any time I wasn’t able to be busy busy busy. When my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer, I was so exhausted and finally realized you can’t just run away from suffering. You can’t just work it out of existence. You can try, but you’ll get sick trying. You have to face it of you’ll go insane.
I remember one night in my father’s hospice room, just him and me. He was sleeping and I was sitting, just sitting. I had finally turned off my computer and put aside my book and turned off the TV and phone and was just sitting and being with my father. I just let it all be true… I mean… I just sat there and accepted the information that I couldn’t make anything change by running away. Death was real and coming fast and I was too tired and sad to run any more anyway.
And I found the edge of peace. At the same time my father never accepted that he was dying. On rare occasion he mentioned it, but he always talked as if it wasn’t going to happen. Even the day he died. So, even that was something I had to learn to be at peace with… that he was going to do his own dying his own way and I couldn’t change it.
When I told our commnunity’s archrya about this experience, he said he had been told that sometimes just sitting with someone who is dying helps their energy move on. I don’t know for sure, but I know that just sitting in the here and now was the only thing that gave me a semblance of peace, and that as life has continued for me since then, I’ve found a greater ability to access peace through simply sitting.
And so I sit.
Loss and bereavement can remind you sharply of what can happen when in life you do not show your love and appreciation, or ask for forgiveness, and so make you far more sensitive to your loved ones.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross said: ‘What I try to teach people is to live in such a way that you say those things while the other person can still hear it.” And Raymond Moody, after his life’s work in near-death research, wrote: “I have begun to realize how near to death we all are in our daily lives. More than ever now I am very careful to let each person I love know how I feel.”
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If this elephant of mind is bound on all sides by the cord of mindfulness,
All fear disappears and complete happiness comes.
All enemies: all the tigers, lions, elephants, bears, serpents (of our emotions);
And all the keepers of hell; the demons and the horrors,
All of these are bound by the mastery of your mind,
And by the taming of that one mind, all are subdued,
Because from the mind are derived all fears and immeasurable sorrows.