This morning I drove 70 miles up the Clearwater River on the Nez Perce Reservation to the town of Kamia. Just west of it, I performed some Buddhist and personal rituals relating to the ashes of both my mother who died five years ago and those of my wife who died six months ago. It made for not only a very full day, since it was over a three hour drive each way, but also one of release and letting go . I have less than two weeks before I move back to the Bay area and lots of things still need to get done. I also have many qualms about the move concerning the care of my dog and cat and my house and belongings. It is very much a chance to practice trust in those that proffer their friendship; and that has always been difficult for me. A residue of the karma I created in my life before I got sober and went straight.
The whole reason for this move initially was the result of karma I created by being infatuated with someone and believing that there was a possible great future relationship where everything seemed to click and appear do-able. Two mature grown-ups in love, who vowed that there was nothing that could not be talked through. Turned out there were things (or a thing, anyway), that couldn’t be talked through. I had committed to moving there and the object of my affections refuses to talk to me because of… Well, now, I’m not really sure. It all seems so vapory. Almost like some sort of dream, or dare I say it, delusional. In my wisdom I thought that this was a different thing, that I could bypass the period of mourning and enter into a relationship that was founded on the principle of mutually caring about and being careful of my sick and then dying wife’s feelings, and the propriety of it all.
Not being greedy.
Letting things unfold.
Not ripping open the package.
All sorts of good ideas like that were individually, and mutually, quietly discarded as the heat and momentum built up to meeting and completing, in a way, the beginnings of something that looked very promising; a grown up thought out future with an open endedness to it; All that unfolding.
Seems there were some small details overlooked. I won’t go into those, but suffice it to say that “my nose was wide open”, as we used to say when I was coming up in New York, and I believed that a committed relationship was just that. Oh well. Close the nose and and don’t go crazy and you won’t be committed.
Where Oh Where did my middle-path go?
The things I set in motion for one set of reasons, are now in motion and I can readily assign another newer and more sane set of reasons. They are merely what I should have done in the first place after my wife died. Take a year and go someplace safe where I can practice in a more structured setting everything I’ve been learning, or at least been taught, for these last 30 years with my wife during that time; and see what really unfolds.
Egad! I’m a selfish and headstrong and a make big mistakes sort of fool; but, I am willing to learn. (Most things that I’ve learned that had true value, I learned the hard way.)
To make amends and rectify my mistakes and sit up in the presence of the Buddha’s and the Ancestors and try and actualize the teaching in my life (one more time), and step forward into the Eternal present moment. There is and must be an “Always going on, Always going on, Always becoming…” (A portion of the Prajanparamitta Sutra)
I Take Refuge in the Buddha, for he is my True teacher.
I Take Refuge in the Dharma, since it is the Medicine for all my suffering.
I Take Refuge in the Sangha, since its members, are Truly Wise and compassionate.
I send merit and best wishes as your Path unfolds, Helmut. Sounds like a time of meeting many challenges. There is suffering, but I have heard that there is also an end to suffering. I am reading a book, “Cultivating the Empty Field”, written almost 100 years before Master Dogen, and found a word or two that seems to speak to your intention to sit up in the presence of the Buddhas and Ancestors;
“Having turned yourself around, accepting your situation, if you set foot on the path, spriitual energy will marvelously transport you.”
Hang in there!
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That was really nicely put Ed. Helmut, I wish you infinite support from the universe and beyond. Happy trails, and if there is anything I can do, please don’t hesitate to ask.
In gassho my sangha brothers,
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I just found this on your site and had a good laugh at the expression “nose wide open.” That was such a common phrase at a particular time and place in my life that just seeing it in print catapulted me back in time to a different place and situation that I haven’t thought of for many years. Since this was written some time ago, I hope that you’ve gotten where you need to be on the situations you described. In gassho, Sherry
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