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  • 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.

So continuing with our mini-series on working with grief and the loss of a loved one, particularly

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04-24-14 你是我媽媽嗎?- BBC角 (04-24-14 Are You My Mother? - BBCorner)

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    Hhart Budha 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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