Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > Loss Gain Impermanence Spirituality

 
 

Loss ~ A Hopeful Place (Poetry & Prose)

Life is Breathing

Jun 29, 2018

Saying For Today: We keep learning, how to love, how to forgive, how to live not in the past but each day.


loss

Lin Jensen, a Zen Buddhist teacher, tells of meeting his ex-wife, years after she initiated divorce, after twenty-four years of marriage.

One day when we chanced to meet, she greeted me with an unguarded smile that said she was glad to see me again. We stood on the sidewalk talking as casually as simple acquaintances might, and I was struck with the wonder of how unforeseeable the consequences of our choices can be. What one fears seldom materializes. Here was Shirley laughing and chattering as if nothing would ever be withheld from her again. It was a bright autumn day for both of us that morning where we met with white clouds streaking over Monterey Bay and the cry of gulls on the wind.

*Lin Jensen. A Memoir of Love, Beauty, and Redemption in Dark Places.

* * *

We're being divorced all the time, something or someone is leaving. What we're walking away from is walking away from us, and vice versa. Gain and loss is equally part of life, one not two, sides of a single coin.

Loss can be a hopeful place, a loving place, if we allow it. Even loss in someone deciding to leave us, that can be gain to. Being released from a job can be a hopeful place. Losing someone to death that, too, is a hopeful place, if we but see it.

Endings are beginnings, all is impermanent, be it receiving or releasing. Impermanence is good news, as much about beginnings as endings.

where's the line between
arrival and departure?
i'll love you always and goodbye forever?
look closely
you see
nowhere

* * *

Meditation can help in training us in observing receiving and losing, comings and goings, how to relax into it, without grasping and hopelessness. Just this day, sitting before the altar, an opening deeper, spaciousness clear, then, closing. Sitting with that, as flow, and in the absence of the sense of that opening that closed, staying open, not shutting down. Opening and closing has many degrees, as does loss and gain.

meditation
what?
sit
don't shut down
open
open
open
feel the growing openness
nothing there but spaciousness
alive, source of life

that simple
so, we live this way
open
open
open
feel the growing openness
nothing there but spaciousness
alive, source of life

open
that simple
even open to the sense of loss of openness
that's openness too

* * *

Several months ago, for varied reasons, mostly for a sense this was what was meant to be, I walked away from a good job and excellent pay, said goodbye. I left knowing something else awaited, or that guidance to leave would not have been given. I left peaceful, knowing a death is a coming of another new birth. I've now lived long enough to have seen this so many times, this knowing is as natural as breathing, even if sometimes I seem to forget it.

life
what?
receive and let go, receive and let go, receive and let go
inhale and exhale and gap before inhale
life is breathing
not breathing means death
so breathe
be the space
to be blessed with welcome
to bless goodbye
keep breathing
that simple, even if sometimes painful

I walked away, and recall the day I walked to my truck, in the parking lot, to leave the site for a last time; no regret, no sense of loss, though loss present, stepping from a once hopeful place into a new hopeful place ~ breathing.

* * *

Says Pema Chodron of her first teaching in bodichitta, Tibetan 'tender, friendly, warm heart.'

When I was about six years old... an old woman sitting in the sun. I was walking by her house one day feeling lonely, unloved, and mad, kicking anything I could find. Laughing, she said to me, "Little girl, don't go letting life harden your heart."

Allowing gracefully a place in our lives for gains and losses, our hearts remain warm and tender, we remain friendly with others, human and otherwise, with life. We can be a presence of that warmth in cold places. We can be a hopeful being among persons feeling hopeless. We can extend this to animals and insects and plants and lakes and other creatures. So many persons are hurting inside, usually silently, not daring to speak it. We can be a refuge. We can be with them, not trying to fix them, knowing we cannot, we need not. Possibly, they can feel some hint or more of encouragement through being near us, and our open heart be felt as a nonjudgmental invitation for them to open the heart, to trust life again, to dare to love once more. After all, there is only one heart, our heart.

* * *

For me, this learning to keep heart open and trust again, this was aided by a lover I had placed much faith in leaving me some years ago.

i came home
almost all was gone
empty house
empty dreams
years ago
i'm still learning again to love you, in a different way
i'm learning still
to let you go, even though you're gone, you left
to be grateful that, for a time, you loved me like you did
i'm still learning
how to be so grateful you did walk away
how to be so grateful to be free of your anger
how to see that you were so hurt, me you could not help but hurt
i came home
almost all was gone
empty house, new beginning
hurt but not forever, neither for you nor me
a new beginning, whatever the reasons, for each
and, at least for me, a more tender, loving heart
so, thank you
yes, and peace
sincerely,
the one who returned to the empty house
sincerely,
bitter no more
sincerely,
again, thank you

We keep learning, how to love, how to forgive, how to live not in the past but each day. We cannot live life, refusing to leave the grave sites of the past.

Yes, loss
is
a hopeful place

* * *

*All material, unless another source is cited, is authored by the presenter of Lotus of Heart, Brian Kenneth Wilcox, Florida USA. Use of the material is permitted; Brian only requests that credit be given and to be notified at 77ahavah77@gmail.com .

*Brian's book, An Ache for Union, is available through major booksellers.

*Move cursor over pictures for photographer and title.

 

Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > Loss Gain Impermanence Spirituality

©Brian Wilcox 2018