Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Five Simple Things to Remember.


In Buddhism, there is something called the Upajjhatthana Sutta—or, more simply, "Subjects for Contemplation" 

And, more specifically, known for the 'five remembrances' - these simple facts about life's fragility and our true inheritance. I have always felt that when one is always mindful of these truisms, that they may be more grounded in their day to day - and much more settled of heart. 

I believe also this to be an important step in letting go of our earthbound attachments. 

As follows, with translation:

1. "Jarādhammomhi jaraṃ anatīto".... I am sure to become old; I cannot avoid aging.

2. Vyādhidhammomhi vyādhiṃ anatīto.... I am sure to become ill; I cannot avoid illness.

3. Maraṇadhammomhi maraṇaṃ anatīto.... I am sure to die; I cannot avoid death.

4. Sabbehi me piyehi manāpehi nānābhāvo vinābhāvo.... I must be separated and parted from all that is dear and beloved to me.

5. Kammassakomhi kammadāyādo kammayoni kammabandhū kammapaṭisaraṇo yaṃ kammaṃ karissāmi kalyāṇaṃ vā pāpakaṃ vā tassa dāyādo bhavissāmī.... I am the owner of my actions, heir of my actions, actions are the womb (from which I have sprung), actions are my relations, actions are my protection. Whatever actions I do, good or bad, of these I shall become their heir. 

We grow old, we get sick, we die...and everything we love, is lost. Where is the joy in this?  

But, it's in facing this reality....our very own impermanence...that brings us to this state of mindfulness. Remember always that you, and everything you know and love - is so very fragile, at best. The reality is that all can be gone in an instant. 

But we never like to think of those things, now do we? 

In our minds, it's always someone else who'll get sick...who'll lose their job...or, who'll face a great life's loss. 

In our minds, it's always someone else sitting alone and waiting for the doctor's visit. 

These remembrances are not intended to cause doom and gloom ~ rather, more so, they are intended to help bring about a little more mindfulness in our day.

Life is beautiful ~ when you understand the real gifts within it.

I thought I might offer one of my most favorite quotes, from Pema Chodron:
“Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both. Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. But if that's all that's happening, we get arrogant and start to look down on others, and there is a sense of making ourselves a big deal and being really serious about it, wanting it to be like that forever. The gloriousness becomes tinged by craving and addiction. On the other hand, wretchedness--life's painful aspect--softens us up considerably. Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. When you are feeling a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody's eyes because you feel you haven't got anything to lose--you're just there. The wretchedness humbles us and softens us, but if we were only wretched, we would all just go down the tubes. We'd be so depressed, discouraged, and hopeless that we wouldn't have enough energy to eat an apple. Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.”
 Namaste, my most beautiful friends...