We assume that it's forever. We build these timelines in our mind, and then fill them with all the tasks and plans and then, of course, we start worrying about it all. We are rarely present, just enjoying the here and now.
I am sitting here doing research for a job where I help an incredible author, and spread her story of battling cancer. It reminds me of the impermanence of this life, the ticking down to the day of our death. It reminds me of the suffering of others, that is invisible to me.
This week I start teaching a new course, titled 'Deepen Your Compassion'. Meditations to awaken our Buddha-nature, our vast potential for loving all beings like they are our own child. Vast minds of compassion. So I have been studying, and reading Geshe Kelsang Gyatso's remarkable book 'Transform Your Life'. And he teaches us that in order to feel compassion, we need to start by loving the people around us. All of them. We need to break down the hallucinatory eyes that see some as friend, some as enemy and most as strangers. We are connected to all beings, and all beings are extremely precious.
And these teachings have been perculating right down into the heart of me this past week. I have been investigating my own mind, and how the roots of self-cherishing, all those self-centered thoughts that power most of my days, how they are just so toxic. I spent a good few weeks being duped by these minds. They were telling me that I needed to move into the city NOW. No more time to wait. And so, driven by this desire, I began to plot a whole host of maneuvers to get ourselves into a new pad. Before we were actually ready, and frankly, potentially causing havoc to all these people close to me.
And then I read Geshe-la's book, and my mind shifted in one simple swoop - from myself to others. It was nectar. It ushered in the most tremendous clarity. I didn't have to concoct a whole series of events. I just needed to move the spotlight off myself and onto others. It's that simple, but it's magic. The veil lifts. The suffering goes out the window. How can I help others in this moment? Peace returns.
And now I sit in my meadow content.