Monday, 14 October 2013

"Souvenirs" of love

Often it is only when people suddenly feel they are losing their partner that they realize how much they love them. Then they cling on even tighter. But the more they grasp, the more the other person escapes them, and the more fragile the relationship becomes. 

So often we want happiness, but the very way we pursue it is so clumsy and unskillful that it brings only more sorrow. Usually we assume we must grasp in order to have that something that will ensure our happiness. 

We ask ourselves: “How can we possibly enjoy anything if we cannot own it?” How often attachment is mistaken for love! Even when the relationship is a good one, love can be spoiled by attachment with its insecurity, possessiveness, and pride; and then when love is gone, all you have left to show for it are the “souvenirs” of love, the scars of attachment. 

The above is taken from the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, Chapter 3, which I find quite meaningful to contemplate on. 

There are many people who are facing relationship problems; whether it's marriage problem, BGR problem, third party problem, family problem, money problem etc. Everyone has problems. Sometimes even if your relationship is not threatened or even when you're happily in a relationship, it is good to recognise that all these feelings/problems we encounter along the way, are merely the cause and conditions which we have created ourselves from past lifetimes. 

There is no point in being upset or angry with the other person whom you think is giving you the problem. He/she may have done something wrong to you, but from the Buddhist point of view, we should not remain resentful, angry and hurt for too long. It could very well be that this person is causing you harm now because you have harmed him/her in both your past lives.  So in this lifetime, when both your karma ripens, you meet again, and you find yourself in the 'losing' end. It would be good to realise that you have not lost in any way. Whatever suffering you are experiencing, be glad that it happened and you are repaying your karmic debt to this person. After this, moving forward, you could start (future) life with a clean slate. Isn't that something to be happy about?  

Instead of appreciating others, we are nonchalant.
Instead of gratitude, we display biasness. 
Instead of being thankful, we pretend nothing happened. 
Instead of resolving a problem, we find excuses that it's not. 
Instead of searching for qualities in others, we recognise only our own qualities. 
Instead of listening to our conscience, we believe in external influence.
Instead of standing by the truth, we are easily led to believe in half truths. 
Instead of accepting mistakes in others, we are so quick to blame. 
Instead of developing patience, we react swiftly to what make us angry
Instead of recalling others' kindness in the past, we reciprocate with arrogance. 
Instead of humility, we dramatize our ego and wants. 
Instead of ending this suffering/samsara, we dwell deeper in enjoyment.
When oh when will we be awakened indeed?

What is holding us back from awakening right now? We can’t find any answer because there is nobody there. There is nothing holding us back and that’s why we never really find any answers. When we look we realize that we are attached to our thoughts. Samsara is nothing more than our identification with thoughts. So whatever tragedy we are experiencing now, contain our thoughts, we should view the problem in a bigger perspective, accept the situation, and then start finding our true happiness, not just in this lifetime, but for many future lives to come. Abandon the scars, give up all our worldly 'souvenirs'.

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