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I am a 60 something Californian, former world traveler of the back packing variety, a Buddhist, a writer, photographer, and teacher.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Facing Samsara

When I feel overwhelmed by the horror of the fate that has overtaken certain people in the news today, certain groups, or certain animals and even ecosystems, it helps me sometimes to walk my mind toward it rather than away. We have been born into a reality in which everything and everyone is impermanent. There is no person or animal that will not die after enough days have passed, most often in discomfort and fear. Samsara is a rough neighborhood. Looking around me, I remind myself that every single person i see will experience death within a hundred years. Most in far less. Every single cute toddler, wagging puppy, noble elephant, whispering pine. Every friend will be lost, or will lose me. Every bit of my youthful beauty, my possessions, my wealth will be lost. Even the memory of me in the mind of others will fade and disappear. It is the way this place works, the reason the Buddha left his palace, the first Noble Truth. He went out to seek an answer to the terrible realization of the suffering all around him. He finally grasped that holding tightly to whatever has come to feel precious and safe cannot help anyone in the end. What does? Loving others. Helping wherever we can. Seeking wisdom that is bigger than one lifetime. Gaining the rare and difficult power of focused attention. What else is there to do after all, with this time here we have been given?

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