Well, we got Mom into a nursing home last week and she's adjusting. She's finally out of urgent medical care and into the rehab part of her recovery from some serious medical setbacks last month. So much has been going through my mind! And so many miles have gone beneath my tires as I drove to the hospital and back.
It's times like this that really make you ponder life. I realize the importance my mother has in my life and how much I intend to keep helping her and my father. I see the importance of beauty, friends, and taking good care of yourself as you inhabit a supporting role.
Once again, I register a complaint with the universe at the whole design of this life thing. How come a person can live a good and honorable life and then end up falling apart like a rusty clock towards the end of their lives? Some Buddhist masters say that every bit of suffering is like a broom that sweeps away bad karma. Does it work this way if you aren't a Buddhist and don't believe in karma?
Ponderings such as these keep me awake sometimes. They can be endless. Sometimes I have to just focus on something else.
My high school friend asked me if my studies and practice of Buddhism has helped. I said yes, really yes. It's helped so much to have studied impermanence and the law of cause and effect, the value of this human birth, and the pervasiveness of suffering. Sounds a bit depressing, but life is actually pretty saturated with these things, so studying it just makes sense. The flip side of all this suffering and responsibility is that the possibility of escape from suffering exists, if we practice a "graduated path" of study and practice. Uh Huh. That's what the masters say. Enlightenment in one lifetime is possible, and failing that, enlightenment at the moment of death really happens.
One thing I haven't lost sight of is how joyful sitting in my garden and saying my prayers and mantras is. It's the one time in the day that's all for me—but really it's all for everyone—dedicated to the well-being of all. It's the most beautiful thing in the world to have a steady practice, really a gift from my teacher, who asked it of us long ago. Come hell or high water, it's what I do, a mala in hand.
I haven't had time to visit my usual blogs because of all this, but I know that I will in the future.
This work, these blog friendships, my Etsy and 1000Markets shops and customers—these all bring such joy.
I hope I can bring a little joy, too.