Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

In this holiday season that is often full of emotional crisis I offer you the advice of Sogyal Rinpoche, who instructs us in one way to awaken love and compassion:

Loving kindness: unsealing the spring.

When we believe that we don’t have enough love in us, there is a method for discovering and invoking it. Go back in your mind and recreate, almost visualize, a love that someone gave you that really moved you, perhaps in your childhood. Traditionally, you are taught to think of your mother and her lifelong devotion to you, but if you find that problematic, you could think of your grandmother or grandfather, or anyone who had been deeply kind to you in our life. Remember a particular instance when they really showed you love, and you felt their love vividly.

Now let that feeling arise again in your heart, and infuse you with gratitude. As you do so, your love will go out naturally to that person who evoked it. You will remember then that even through you may not always feel that you have been loved enough, you were loved genuinely once. Knowing that now will make you feel again that you are, as that person made you feel then, worthy of love and really lovable.

And here is a ten year old memory of just such a moment remembered during this holiday season I spend away from family here in Oz.

As I harken back to my childhood, there was only one person who treated me with that love, my Aunt Dorothy. There was one instance in particular that I could resurrect from my young childhood, but only one.

However, far more recently there was a person and a moment which seemed crystal clear, a moment when I was overwhelmed with the sense of being loved and of loving.

That moment occurred on my backpack with my Aussie, the late afternoon after you climbed the ridge line in search of the trail to Baxter Pass. I recall the enormous anxiety I felt about your safety, but more importantly, I remember your expression of concern to me in terms of a little handling a hot we were cooking our dinner. It was a fleeting moment, but somehow immensely important to my sense of feeling loved by you, of feeling valued and valuable.

As I recreated that moment just now, I once again feel the sense of being a lovable and loved entity. I simply wanted to thank you, not only for that moment, but for many others which culminated somehow in that instant.