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Sunday, December 27, 2009

"Recognize the dreamlike qualities of life..."

A Buddha at HomeGoods Store in Encinitas, seeing all but letting it come and go...

This time of year I always have a beautiful chance to reflect, as the year teeters on its last legs, veering towards its end and the beginning of the New Year. It's my chance to write, listen to music, be sort of a slug, and go within. A reevaluation goes on—where am I and where am I going. Am I still standing in the way I want to in this life? For some people this might feel heavy, for me it's unpacking. Wherever I am each year, whatever I'm doing that year, my mind draws me back to this centering exercise. It's quite lovely feeling.

So many changes this year, for so many people! I can't help feeling that we're reorganizing our way of existing as a species. Our old feelings of security based on money and social status just don't work right now. It's hard to feel the same when you've watched the restructuring of the banking institutions and watched thousands lose their homes. And I've watched my family restructure, too. This Christmas we visited Mom in her new board and care home, then we went to Dad's to hang out with the cousins and my sister's family. It was kind of strange not to have Mom there, yes. But we decorated the tree, exchanged presents, made each other feel loved. Wonderful, really.
So everyone is okay, but things aren't the same.

Now I'm digesting all the rich food that passed through my lips over the past week. I feel like eating nothing richer than miso broth and broccoli for about a week. Anyone else feel like that after the holidays? The world must consume so much butter between Thanksgiving and New Year's. Way, way too much butter. Poor overworked cows.

This morning I awoke thinking about crystal malas, as symbols of clarity and purity, and as inspiration for letting go of the old. Crystals cleanse the palate, especially plain old quartz crystal, the simplest of crystals but by far the most beautiful. For me they enhance the awareness that, real as this life feels, it is but a dream.

"Always recognize the dreamlike qualities of life and reduce attachment and aversion. Practice good-heartedness toward all beings. Be loving and compassionate, no matter what others do to you. What they will do will not matter so much when you see it as a dream. The trick is to have positive intention during the dream. This is the essential point. This is true spirituality."

Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche in Life in Relation to Death

Life sure seems dreamlike to me these days. The right people and situations appear for our growth, as if by magic. The loving qualities of the universe show themselves readily. And right now, I am so thankful for what has appeared in my life, this Dharma, these friends, this online community.

Bless you!


Jan said...

Laura, a beautiful thought-provoking post. I especially appreciated the words you shared from the Tulku about holding positive intentions, even in the midst of the dream. I hear that loud and clear. Even though so much of what we are experiencing (if not all of it) feels dreamlike these days, I know it is very important for us to follow your lead and the wise advice shared here...esp. about compassion and kindness toward ourselves and others. That never changes....

Sending New Year's well wishes and love your way. You are such a blessing! xo

Laura said...

Thank you for your sensitive comment. I can't take any credit for the wise advice, it belongs purely to my teachers, I just pass it along and try to remember it when things get challenging.

I appreciate your visits, it's always wonderful to see your face. Here's wishing you and all sentient beings, including me, a wonderful New Year. (In the spirit of equanimity I include myself in "all beings".)