Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Favorite Guide

Excerpt from Chapter 38 Accept Impermanence, Loss, and Joy

To open ourselves to the joy of a loving union means accepting the possibility of loss. To be able to love, we need to accept the melancholy of life, the little losses of every day and the great loss called death. Paradoxically, once we accept that change, loss, discomfort and grief are inevitable, life is not so frightening and we are freer to create intimate relationships.

We need to open ourselves to the inevitable daily losses of living, so we can open ourselves to love. We say hello and goodbye. We feel connected one moment, and disconnected the next. A tender sexual moment will never be exactly the same. Every breath we takes connects us to life, then passes, before a new breath fills us. We move through new developmental and spiritual stages daily, weekly.

Impermanence is a central concept in Buddhism. Nothing stays the same, not ideas, thoughts, perception, and certainly not other people. The flowers on the dining room table will wilt in a few days, the clouds will never be the same again. Sadness and joy exist side by side. One the spiritual path we allow these things to be, observing them and watching them pass, just like a breeze. Don't expect the person you fall in love with to stay the same. Like breathing air, the spiritual path is fluid, ungraspable, undefinable, elusive. We stop the flow the moment we try to hold onto something. ...

You partner with someone as they are at this moment. The vitality can remain if you adventure forth, side by side, savoring the moment to moment shifts and changes that inevitably arise as you both stay open to the journey. We need to look at each other anew every day, with clear eyes and an open mind so we see the person of today, not an image from the past.

If the Buddha Dated, A Handbook for Finding Love on a Spiritual Path

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