Let Go

 

On hearing of the passing of Adam Yauch…

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/beastie-boys-co-founder-adam-yauch-dead-at-48-20120504

…I began to ponder my own Buddhist beliefs on death.

As a great help to the Free Tibet movement, I believe he must have felt some connection to Buddhism.

It is a sad truth that death comes to us all….(aren’t I a ray of sunshine for Sunday?)

My mother-in-law is a nurse and through her, I’ve come to learn alot about people’s irrational need to cling to a life of suffering, just to keep existing.

I also know through my own experience, and as a permanent skeptic of things like ‘near death experiences’ and ‘the great beyond’ I can tell you this:

When I lay a hair’s width away from death in 2003, it was a peaceful and calm experience.

Once I was too tired to be scared anymore, I was calm and accepting and said to myself ok, if now is the time, I can deal with that.

This was after I begged the universe to let me see age 25 by the way, I’m no super human or awesome Buddhist…I wanted to keep living just like anyone else.

With that experience behind me, when it was questionable again what might be wrong with me a few months ago, I came to the experience with a little more acceptance and peace. I was a little more proud of my accomplishments the second time round.

When you face it, Buddhist teachings say, accept it with peace and grace that death is not the end of life but a transition between types of existence.

When you think about it, death is not the worst thing that could happen to us.

We do not feel anything once our spirits leave our bodies.

But when you break up with someone, when you lose a friend or a job or get sick, you feel all sorts of negative things.

Don’t cling to suffering. Let go my dear, let go.

Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend or a meaningful day.

-Dalai Lama

 

 

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Dreaming toward death

Sometimes, in the midst of depression, my safety devices are writing and my love for my wife.  

I want to be a breath away from fading into the sheets on my bed and into nothing.

Like that movie, A Neverending story, I feel like I’m in the nothing.

Then there’s the knowledge that death is very permanent and only seems like a distant pretty idea. Looks like it might work, looks like an option, but really, it isn’t…not at all…Almost like…communism?

My nails are dragging along the pages and keyboard, if I form them, I will stay, if I type, I am alive, I am here and I will stay.

It’s a sad commentary or the ramblings of a person who has managed chronic depression for 20 years, I have no idea which is more accurate.

It’s a beautiful sunny day – the sun is splitting the rocks, my grandfather would say. It’s 4 celsius but we haven’t seen a beautiful day like this in a long time. It makes my illness that much more, palpable, closer to the surface.

I am here, I am alive and for now, that is enough.

The Beauty of Art and Memory

This lovely photo was taken by a friend of mine who is an extremely talented photographer. I am working on a post of her amazing photography now, but I was stopped short by this picture she took and was compelled to blog about it.

When I first saw it, I thought of her dog, Shanti, the subject of the photo, and what a lovely little being she is. Then, when I looked again, I remembered my own dog, Max, who left this earth over a year ago and I imagine this picture is him, wandering into the universe to be a lovely part of it in some other way now.

Forget about religion, forget about afterlife and all that. I miss my dog. I loved him so much and he was with me, a silent witness to my recuperation eight years ago from a terminal illness, a violent and toxic relationship with someone who took from me until I was an empty shell. He lovingly ushered me into peace and love in my life, my new relationship, to a wonderful, giving, compassionate woman who became my wife. And when we were happy and content and planning our future hopes and dreams, he left.

He was the most fun, support, mischief, preparation for parenthood, that I could ever get. I will never forget him and when I lost him, I found this beautiful thing below:

“He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.) When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me… whenever… wherever – in case I need him. And I expect I will – as I always have. He is just my dog.”

I did not write that and I don’t remember who did, if and when I find out, I will wholeheartedly give credit where it is due.

Our pets are lovely little souls who add such joy and love for such a short time. Their presence makes the world a much better place.

"He has promised to wait for me... whenever... wherever - in case I need him. And I expect I will - as I always have. He is just my dog."

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I love you Max, you are never far from my thoughts
ciaran