” One of my favourite plays in high school is King Lear, the story about an arrogant King who had everything and lost everything which sent him loopy but at the very end he learned he still had the love of his youngest daughter and so he could die peacefully but more importantly that having that love is more important than anything he could ever own or have. And so living a Buddhist life in a very practical sense for me is about learning to live, to let go and to love everyday. To live in the present moment, to treasure those special moments I have with my daughter, when she nuzzles into my neck for comfort or she delights and squeals seeing the same boring bus for the hundredth time. Nature is where I feel most calm and grounded, and so taking a mindful walk along the beach is one way I stay real and present in life.
My daughter constantly teaches me to let go, to let go of who I was and to let go NOW, at this moment NOW when she needs me. Now that’s not always easy when I feel tired and I grumble and I grumble, but really I have so much admiration for people who choose to do that everyday, who give up their lives for other sentient beings and who give so joyfully and generously. The thing about cherishing others (and I have little experience if this), it can open my heart so completely that I know that this is the best version of who I am and so I am at peace. And above all else there is love, to give a love without expectations or demands, that is one kind of love I am striving for to give to others but also myself. And so the quality of my life will always be dependent on the quality of my mind which I am in charge of and responsible for and so it is ultimately up to me. As Buddha said, “All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become” Buddha.
And so taking responsibility for my own mind and working to feed it nourishing food (e.g. meditation, building relationships with other spiritual practitioners, going to dharma classes) and ejecting toxic and destructive material (avoiding certain magazines, television shows, foods, alcohol etc) is also part of my daily practice.
Thank you to Ayya Yeshe and the warm sangha family of Bodhicitta Foundation!”