Come new to this day.
Remove the rigid overcoat of experience,
the notion of knowing,
the beliefs that cloud your vision.
Leave behind the stories of your life.
Spit out the sour taste of unmet expectation.
Let the stale scent of what-ifs waft back into the swamp
of your useless fears.
Arrive curious, without the armor of certainty,
the plans and planned results of the life you’ve imagined.
Live the life that chooses you,
new every breath, every blink of your astonished eyes.
– Rebecca del Rio
One of the tenants of Tibetan Buddhism is that all things we can see, touch, feel, smell, hear and taste are impermanent. Indeed, everything on this planet, including mother earth herself, is impermanent. Astronomers tell us that all stars, star systems, galaxies, and planets are impermanent, even our sun. The Buddha taught that when we forget this and cling to the need to make everything permanent, we suffer. We are going against the very laws of nature. The Buddha also taught that since everything is impermanent, so is our suffering. If we can learn to let go of attachment to what we want and instead find gratitude for what is, we will find peace and equanimity…which will also be impermanent if we cling to it.
In this time in history, we are faced with plenty of opportunity to practice letting go of attachment to what we think we want and finding appreciation for the gifts in the form of challenges that help us each grow. We are literally going through what is often referred to as the refiner’s fire. That fire is meant to polish each of us to a brilliant shine, one that will reflect our luminous natures to one another. We are each a mirror or reflection of another facet of the Divine.
I love this poem by Rebecca del Rio. What is she telling you through her beautifully chosen words? What is applicable in this era that can be used as a guiding light through the darkness? As a species we are facing challenges that might seem insurmountable. Individually we each suffer in our own unique ways. Are you noticing the places in your life where you are stronger than you were in 2019? Are you noticing the ways your inner superhero is peeking out? Who will you be when this cycle of challenges is finished? Who will you be when there is once again peace and equanimity in your world? All of life is cyclical. Perhaps this pandemic period has been your cycle of peace and equanimity.
The challenges of 2020 have all been the consequences of human behavior. We are living our own outcomes. Hopefully we will learn from this time and come out on the other side a more compassionate species; humans who strive to live in community with loving kindness. We have all felt the ramifications of polarization. This is autoimmunity within our species…humans attacking humans is autoimmunity. There can be no winner when this is happening. May loving kindness and compassion prevail in our world for the sake of all we share it with.