字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 So continuing with our mini-series on working with grief and the loss of a loved one, particularly through death, but some people have written in and said that they're dealing with grief of all kinds of things and I think all of these tips apply. So, of course, my own personal situation is immediate in terms of not just the death of a loved one but of a parent, which I think has a special quality of...something. But continuing from the previous talk where we were speaking about how the feelings are the feelings, you know, we have the feelings. To deny them is not the point. But as Buddhists, to investigate them. To really learn about them, attend to our feelings. There's a lot to be learned there. So going right on from that I wanted to just talk about: What is the pain about? I think we have in our culture -- maybe it's spoken, even -- but an unspoken idea that the more pain I'm in the more it indicates my love for the person that I've lost. That somehow those two things correlate. But, you know, actually why do we hurt? Love doesn't hurt. Compassion can have a feeling of tenderness, but compassion doesn't hurt. So eventually I think we have to just look and go: Wow, this is what attachment feels like. This is what attachment feels like and so to use the opportunity to really investigate: What is attachment? What's the difference between attachment and love? And to use that to also help us move through the pain. And it may not just be hurt that we're feeling. We may feel angry. We may feel depressed. We may feel confused or scared. There's all kinds of colors of emotions that come up with we lose someone. But I think if we examine, what we'll look for, is that attachment is behind it. Clinging to something that should have been different, could have been different. Clinging to memory or an idea of our security, or happiness comes from this person. So that's really what's bringing up the pain for us. So as I said at the beginning, and this has been my theme throughout, our grief is a head-on collision with the four distortions. So in this case, I think when we're looking at the pain and looking at our attachment, it's like beginning to recognize: Wow, I had a lot invested in my happiness or my security coming from this person. You know when Venerable Jigme an I were talking recently about losing a mother and there's somehow about, wow, the very body that bore you. You don't even know that you have this attachment, and yet, hmm, it's gone. Not only is the body that bore me gone, but as I was talking with others here, too, when you look at the corpse of your parent you know you are next in line. Whether that comes up in a clear external way, or whether it's just an unconscious feeling, but there is also that thought, so there's lots of kinds of attachment there. So what are the antidotes to attachment? First of all, I want to recommend that if people are dealing with a loss that you go to http://www.thubtenchodron.org, put in the search engine on the home page "Taking the Ache out of Attachment" and download that series of meditations. There's another handout called "Antidotes to Attachment." Put that in the search box, download the antidotes and spend some time on our cushion really meditating on these. Here's the ones that I've found the most helpful. One is, as we've already talked about, but I think we need to look at it again and again and again, is to really reflect on impermanence. Everybody dies. Every body. Everybody. 151,600 people on this planet - approximately - die every day. Since my mother has died, 24 days ago, 5 million other people have died. In a year 55.3 million people - approximately - die. So the loss is personal, but when I start to think about, wow, 5 million people just since my mother passed. The question starts to become: Why did this happen to her? Why did this happen now? Why did this happen? It's like, well why not? It's going to happen to everybody. Everybody. And has happened to everybody we can ever think of. So to move beyond the deep, personal, solitary, "my" pain to understand that this is the nature of reality. Our bodies are impermanent. Our minds are impermanent. Everything around us is changing moment by moment by moment and so to cling is only going to bring us suffering. And when he was teaching the Four Noble Truths the Buddha says to us: We must know, we must understand dukkha in order to get ourselves out of cyclic existence. So here we have an opportunity to get some understanding about this. So the next step might be, then, if 151,600 people have died today, right this minute I know how that feels, to be one of the people left behind. Can I cultivate my motivation for today's activities to be of benefit to every one of those 151 thousand people's families -- let's say they have six living relatives. Most people have more. That's getting us close to a million people today who are suffering because they've lost someone. It becomes a much bigger, shared experience when we spread our mind to that larger group of people , and that's human beings alone. Think about all the animals who have lost someone. Think about a baby animal who loses its mom. What happens when a little fawn loses it's mother? What happens when a hawk gets the chicken and all the little chicks are around. Those kids suffer a lot more than this one. So to really use the opportunity to develop our compassion, I think, makes the pain meaningful. Makes it useful. Helps us understand how to practice the Dharma. Then we can do the taking and giving meditation as well. And if that's not something familiar to you, go onto thubtenchodron.org, put in the search box on the homepage "taking and giving" and it will come up. But it is the practice of then imagining taking on the suffering of all the beings -- in this case it might be all the beings who have lost their mother, all the beings who have suffered the loss of a loved one. Let all of that pain really shatter the self-centeredness that's making us cling to our own sense of self and create an open space where we can give love and compassion to all of those beings. And this really flexes our heart and helps develop our bodhicitta, which is of course our aspiration, our highest aspiration, to become a Buddha for the benefit of all these beings. One practice that I have found extremely helpful in dealing with attachment is to offer the object of attachment -- in this case the loved one -- to the Buddha. We can visualize beautiful mandalas of that person, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of them, millions of that person dressed in their finest, at their most beautiful, youthful, happy phase -- Offering that to the Buddha. Because who is a better protector of that person at this point? Not me. I can dedicate merit. That's about the best I can do right now. But if I can offer and just offer that person to the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha -- May the aggregates however they re-format, may this be of benefit to you and to sentient beings, you take them. You take them. This is helpful. It helps to relive, like, the personal feeling of "what can I do for them?" We can do virtuous actions and dedicate the merit of those for the good rebirth of the person that we've lost. So we can make offerings in their name, we can do our daily practice with a wish for the merit to be of benefit to them. Any thing that you can think of, actually, that would be virtuous and maybe even relates to what they're interested in, what they cared about. And dedicate, dedicate, dedicate that merit so that they will have a good rebirth or that all beings in this condition will have a rebirth, you know, to make our experience as big as we can give us fuel for developing our renunciation and our bodhicitta. Now, I want to say... I got some advice from a teacher some years ago when I was doing lots of meditations on attachment, and I would have the experience where I was in great pain and I would sit on the cushion, I would get on the cushion, I would maybe do the taking and giving meditation and feel this great expanded heart, and really feel relieved. I would get up from the cushion and within minutes I was wracked with pain again. And I was complaining about that. Said this Buddhist teacher to me, "Have some humility," she said. "You have been living with attachment since beginningless time. You think a few sessions on the cushion is going to take that away from you? Forget it." So the point is not that this will be like taking a pill: I will be able to do these meditations on attachment, I'll get over my attachment, then I won't be in pain anymore. Slowly, slowly, slowly over time, as we do these meditations, as we look in the lamrim and look at the many different ways that we can think about these situations to relieve us, they will relieve. We will develop a mind that is not as attached, not as prone to clinging. We can become -- I hate the word non-attachment as the mental factor -- but one that is able to relate with the world without clinging to it. This lessens over time with these meditations. No doubt about it. But it's important, I think, to emphasize that point here is not to cure our pain, it's to investigate it, to understand it, to see what its source is, and through that slowly the habit of mind that clings to an external source as the source of our happiness is transformed as we understand what's really going on here. There's a little thing that's been going on in my mind that I just wanted to share with people. There's a lovely little children's book, oh gosh, I just forgot the name of the author and I didn't write it down. But it's called "Are You My Mother?" And in this little children's book there's a little bird that's about to hatch and its mother knows this. And so when figures this out she flies away so she'll get some food to have it all ready when the little bird hatches. Well, he hatches while she's gone. And so he decides to go look for his mother and he falls out of the nest and he meets all these characters - you know, he meets the dog: "Are you my mother?" "I'm not your mother, how could I be your mother? I am a dog." Chinkchink chink, he meets the cow: "Are you my mother?" "I'm not your mother, I'm a cow." So he walks and walks and walks until he meets a -- I don't know what you call those things, it's like an earth digger with a bucket. A machine. "Are you my mother?" Well the machine can't answer him, but it does start up with a roar - he calls it a snort. "Oh, the snort is not my mother either." But the snort actually ends up dropping him back in the nest and his mother finds him. So he has a happy ending. I must have read this to my little sister because it came out about 1960, because these words, "Are you my mother?" It's very familiar, it has come to my mind a lot. But it's like... This question has suddenly taken on a kind of poignance that is very useful. You know, to be able to look at every tick and go: Well, are you my mother? I mean, on one level you could be. But on another level, yeah, you were. You were my mother. Every encounter with every person here: Are you my mother? Well, at one time or another, according to these teachings you most definitely were. And if you were as kind to me as the mother that I am not grieving, then we have a connection that I really want to repay. So we can take everything that comes out of this kind of experience and apply it to the path, apply it to the teaching. And boy, if we could learn that we've all been each other's mothers from this, what a gift. What a gift. And how much further along it would take us to develop our bodhicitta, because they say this very first point of recognizing that all beings have been our mothers is the most difficult of the seven full cause and effect steps to developing bodhicitta. If I recognize that you've been my mother, then I remember the kindness of that, I want to repay that kindness, then love naturally arises, compassion naturally arises. And then when I see that we are all in this situation -- death, birth, death, birth, death, birth, death, birth.... And all the dukkha that comes between those two and between the other two... Then naturally comes the altruistic intention, or the great resolve, that says "I will, by myself alone, I will relieve us of this." So may we take our grief in a way that really helps to benefit all living beings.