delicious quiet delight
*Brian K. Wilcox. 'taste of sadness.' Feb 16.2018.
Buddhism helped me see how emotional suffering arises from an unhealthy relationship with pain, not from pain itself. So, here I sit, my mind more on Buddhism than usual, for I am to give a teaching lesson on Buddhism in a few days to students in a clinical pastoral education program. And I feel sadness, like a ghost hovering and moving through me. I am bewildered by this sadness, when just earlier this morning I felt great, calm pleasure. I recall what I am to talk about Monday, about transforming suffering by accepting painful feelings, not greedy to run from them or run to them.
I invite the sadness, willing to feel it, to know its texture. It goes away, comes again. Soon, I settle peacefully into sadness as is, a passing state of body and mind, nothing more, nothing less. I am neither in denial nor attached to the sadness. I am simply feeling the sadness, or better, being with the feeling of sadness. I am here.
I could say, "I am not sad." For sadness just is. I do not know why it is here, even as I do not know why it would leave. There is no why, not here. So, there is no suffering, for I am with, not identified with.
* * *
I was taught to seek escape from suffering through prayer to "God" as an object somewhere outside or apart. I was taught to manipulate through prayer. Now, being-with what is here, there is a reconciliation with the humanness part of our beingness.
* * *
Anyway, who decided sadness is to be avoided? Sadness is painful? Not-sadness is better? Who decided all this? Not you. Not me. We decide, again and again, however, each time sadness arises within us. Will this be foe? Will this be friend?
How can I be prayerful, mindful, heartful, if I do not allow sadness to be, when so many others feel sad this very moment, every moment? I do not need to know the why of this feeling, or any feeling, prayerfully to be with it. And in prayerfully being-with, I can appreciate more that this feeling is not my feeling. This is a feeling we all share, and to deny it would make me less human and, so, less compassionate in my being with all others, human and otherwise.
So, I do not need an escape through prayer, any religious rite, any claim of spiritual practice. I need inscape, I need moving into the experience of others, including saddness. Prayerfulness is not an escape.
* * *
Prayerfulness is embrace, willingness to live one with others, not apart from them in a sense of superiority, religiously or spiritually or morally. I am is not I am this or that, and, hence, I cannot be separated from the experience of this moment in which I am with you. In some way mysteriously, we are totally here and, yet, in a manner inexplicable to the sense of ourselves as apart, as separate. We do not have to feel this, to know this.
We know ourselves only in reconciliation to ourselves, in Grace – which means, with each other, everyone, seen and unseen. That is our communion, and sadness arises in it and is welcomed by it.
*Brian K Wilcox, "Prayerful Embrace of Our Sadness." Sept 2014, Rev Feb 16, 2018.
* * * CLOSING BLESSING * * *
Grace and Peace to All
The Sacred in Me bows to the Sacred in You
*Move your cursor over photos for photographer and title.
*Lotus of the Heart is a Work of Brian K. Wilcox. Brian is an interspiriutal Contemplative Chaplain, Writer, and Poet.