Saturday, August 2, 2008

Cling, Cling, Cling Went the Mommy....

Here's a fascinating factum about the Baroness - I'm an e-mail hoarder.

This has the Baron rather worried, as he sees this tendency as a gateway towards more troubling, potentially dangerous hoarding. You know the one - where the newspapers and magazines are bundled up willy-nilly 7 feet high and create a maze throughout the hallways of the house.

He can rest easy - for now. What I'm hoarding is strictly information. Because I hate getting rid of something that I could potentially learn something from. Let me explain.

Every day, I get an e-mail newsletter from Yoga Journal - sometimes it's a "Daily Insight", sometimes it's a "Wisdom" piece.

It is virtually impossible for me to devote the time I need to actually read these articles with the intention and attention I wish to revere them with. So I fire them into my "To Read" file.

Another intriguing trait? I'm a little on the OCD side. Meaning, I had to get a certain number of these e-mails in my To Read file before I could begin reading them. On the day that I got to 52, (which means I could read and reflect on one per week), I didn't get the time to sit down and start, so I had to start all over again. The next magic number? 104. You guessed it, 2 articles a week.

Only this time, when I reached 104, I did have the time. And so it began.

Actual Post
The date of the e-mail is March 3, 2008.

The title of the article is "Embrace Reality", penned by a certain Frank Jude Boccio.

The gist of the article refers to non-attachment and equanimity and how they relate to Buddha's 5 Remembrances (see below).

What I find most compelling about how all these things came together - Duke 2 being away, me secretly pining for his happiness and enjoyment, Duke 1 readying for leaving home, me finally getting down to reading this swack of e-mails - is the exquisite timing of it all.

It cannot be mere coincidence.

The sentence which hit me like a bolt from the blue was this one:
"Once you accept the reality of impermanence, you begin to realize that grasping and clinging are suffering, as well as the causes of suffering, and with that realization you can let go and celebrate life. The problem is not that things change, but that you try to live as if they don't."


This is something so simple - so incredibly commonsense - yet so soul-stirring and revolutionary for me.

My clinging, my wishing my boy-men could always stay within hug's length of my heart, my hoping that things between us would always be the same - it's all for naught. For to move ahead, to grow, to experience, to evolve, we must be in a constant state of flux.

Another quote I loved:
"As your insight into impermanence deepens you start to see the truth of the "no-separate-self." When you can extend beyond the limits you've created you see that your life is not really "yours" but all of life itself manifesting through you."

Yes. Manifesting through you - in a state of impermanence.

I do not have ownership of my children; I'd like to call them mine, but while they are but a infinitesimal part of me, they are truly their own beings, with their own paths to walk.

I am now starting to fully appreciate the wonder and awe of having them share our lives for a time, but I am also starting to accept that impermanence is a fact of living.

And that fact is far more fascinating than hoarding or strange rituals, don't you think?


The Five Remembrances

I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old.

I am of the nature to have ill health. There is no way to escape ill health.

I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death.

All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them.

My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand.

by Thich Nhat Hanh in The Plum Village Chanting Book (Parallax Press, 1991)


Mental P Mama said...

I absolutely love Thich Nhat Hanh...and this is a beautiful post. OCD stuff and all. I have to force myself to remember that the children come through you. And that is all. Thank you.

Not Afraid to Use It said...

Ooooh. I don't think I am ready to go there yet. I think this is a lesson I will learn as the circles my children make around me grow wider. Right now, they cling to me with such fierceness. I know it is such a short phase. But the more they venture out and become more independent--I am sure I will learn as you have.

RiverPoet said...

B von B - I loves me some Buddhist wisdom (as I was one for awhile). This indeed is a perfect lesson for you while you deal with your loneliness for your son. I agree that we ignore change because we like to live as though nothing will change. Some days, though, I'm happy for change because it might mean a better day is in the offing.

Peace - D

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the insite. Separating is a lesson I need to embrace as well.
AND not hording email. I currently have 1300 items in my inbox. Where to start?

iPost said...

I once read the you (woman) are a vessel through which a child enters the world but the child belongs to God. Powerful, for sure!

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Countess MPM: You LOVE Thich Nhat Hanh? I LOVE that you loe him!! It seems there's no one I can't throw out that you don't know - impressive!!

As for this tough lessons, I'm all talk - we'll revisit this the second week of September...

Countess NATUI: That whole "roots and wings" thing? It makes perfect intellectual sense until you have to finally try the "wing" part out.

Countess RiverPoet: I love how all the Buddhist things I come across all seem to appear at just the right time. When the student is ready...

Countess AG: 1300? Holy crap, woman! It's a wonder I can ever get through to you!!

Countess iPost: Yup, that's me. Just a broken, Crazy-Glued-back-
together vessel.

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