Undones, Do You Have Them?

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Having faced death several times myself and recently experiencing the deaths of two very special people, I find myself preoccupied with loss.

Adoptees tend to do that of course. Our beginnings in utero had already started the prewiring necessary for our survival which was begun with loss of our mother.

Of course, I’d like to be thinking of sunshine and rainbows, but the reality for all of us is that death is inevitable. It could be tonight even.. It will come whether you’re ready or not. That is a certainty and we don’t have many of those in this life.

My life has been filled with loss as most adoptees are. The loss of our mother, our family, our heritage, our genetic markers, our family dynamics. Each future loss such as the recent losses I’ve mentioned open that old wound.

Then of course you add in the numerous losses one tends to accumulate over the years and suddenly life appears to hold nothing but darkness, silence, the sound of tears dropping, emptiness, loss of health. Living with an illness that could at any moment take my life brings it all to the frontline.

Being a practicing Buddhist I’m well prepared for the inevitable. I don’t fear death at all and in fact, at times would welcome it. Most people living with Mast Cell Disease can attest to that when you’ve spent days in excruciating pain, vomiting into a pail, fighting the anaphylaxis demons with epinephrine.

That in no way means I want to die. It means I believe one has to prepare for their own death in order to live. A close encounter with death can bring a real awakening, a transformation in our whole approach to life.

The Nature of everything is illusory and ephemeral,

Those with dualistic perception regard suffering as happiness, Like they who lick the honey from a razor’s edge. How pitiful they who cling strongly to concrete reality:

Turn your attention within, my heart friends.

The above is a verse of a poem by contemporary master, Nyoshul Khenpo. It clearly outlines the need to reflect deeply on impermanence. It’s very difficult to turn our attention within and so easy to allow our old habits, our set patterns to rule us! To reflect on this, slowly brings us wisdom. Watch how you repeatedly fall into the same old habits that always bring you suffering. Again, and again, and again. With observance and practice we can slowly emerge and change.

Your Undones…

Your undones are that persistent, niggling, feeling that is sent to you from The Universe, Your Higher Self, how ever you think of what is “out there”. It’s telling you that you have unfinished business. Business that will pester you, stress you and take your energy until you complete it. Mental nags are undones. They remind you that you have broken agreements with yourself and time and time again you’ll notice they rob you of your self respect. Creativity…gone. True joy…gone. Internal peace…gone. You are able to get back all of those things if you complete your undones.

Right now in your mind I’m sure you can identify several. I know I can. They could be unresolved conflicts, withheld forgiveness, appreciation not mentioned, love not given, goals not met, promises not kept. Your life is probably full of many more not mentioned. They come in every size, shape, and in each and every area of your life. Check your basement. It’s probably full of undones.

Let this sink in…You won’t find peace until these undones are completed. Just remember, life is short and very unpredictable.

Re-Surfacing

  

Medicine BuddhaThis is my Medicine Buddha Thanka in my meditation room.

It was given to me by my wonderful Tibetan friend Namgil from India.  His Father painted it just before he passed on.  I’ve been spending a great deal of time in there the past few weeks.  Well, there and the ER as you saw on my FB.  

I’ve been sitting, laying, reflecting, meditating, shedding tears… trying to understand the concept of loss and pain, both physical and emotional.  I always think I’ve got it….until it happens the next time.  Mind you…considering how I was a few years ago, I’m so much better at recognizing and stepping outside of my physical self to observe.  Being in the presence of the Medicine Buddha helps, just as being in any kind of spiritual place brings a sense of peace, belonging and clarity.

His deep blue, ties back to a master healing stone Lapis Lazuli.  The deep blue is associated with the brow chakra,  The attributes of the brow chakra are discernment, clarity, vision and seeing beyond illusion.  How appropriate for me at this time.

In his hand he holds the myrobalan fruit, representing all of the best medicines in the world.  Being so ill these past few weeks I soak in the energy this brings.

His right hand gesture represents and symbolizes the eradication of suffering.  Especially the suffering of sickness using the means of relative truth.  The left hand is resting in his lap palm upward symbolizing meditative stability.  Meditation is looked upon as a tool to aid in the eradication of sickness and suffering, both of which have been a huge part of my life.

How? By digging deep into the very roots of the pain and suffering and finding the absolute truth.  I’ve written about digging in the dirt and finding our own diamonds buried underneath the rubble and baggage we carry around.  It’s a lifelong process, this digging.

This has been National Adoption Awareness Month.  I don’t need to tell you how much has been discussed amongst the First Mothers, The Adoptees, People trying to change the system in hopes of making things better.  Post after post written about the atrocities of adoption and how it’s left behind a trail of people with broken hearts.

 I’ve thought endlessly of how it has affected me and those around me.  I’ve had to re read FINDING HEART HORSE several times this month in preparation for printing.  These reads have brought deep reflective tears and awareness for the young girl who suffered so much trauma.  Interesting.  I thought I was done with the tears.  It was with compassion this time, with understanding and acknowledgement that came from my heart.  Different than before.  Even pain has layers.

Much of my suffering comes from a lack of connection rooted in being taken from my Mother.  Now many are lost to me and my heart breaks sending me into a dark place of despair.  I know many of you have felt that loss, that darkness, that aloneness even when in a room full of people. I know some of you are sitting there now. When the actual people move on you are left alone…with yourself and your Medicine Buddha or as in my book…your Heart Horse.

I’ve tried to repair the cracks.  I’ve used crazy glue to mend the pieces that fell completely out.  I’ve read, and prayed, and forgiven.  Yet I cry alone.  No matter how you look at it, unless you are there for yourself, love yourself, accept yourself you will always be looking outside and you will find nothing.

In the ER I was by myself.  They pepper you with questions while you are gasping for air, tangles of tubes and chaos around you.  “Who’s your next of Kin?  Who should we call if we intubate?  Who is your next of Kin?  Over and over.

 When I first found my birth family I was so excited.  I finally had next of Kin and put their names everywhere never thinking that one day the space would be empty once again.   Such a simple thing to so many…next of kin.  When you are adopted and live your life with no information, no history, no kin..its just so amazing to have names to put down….such a simple thing and yet so important.  Next of Kin.  Such a loss then and now.  

ImageThe sooner you figure this out…the better.

 Less suffering, less chaos.  Easier said than done, I know.

So, I’m laying in my meditation room contemplating some pretty heavy subjects.  Death for example.  How fast life can change.  In an instant someone is gone.  We see it on the news everyday.  Do we take time to really think about the person, about their families, those left behind.  Did they argue that day over something so silly as a spilled coffee.  Did they say goodbye with a kiss,  Did they say thank you for all that that person has done for them.  Perhaps its only when you come face to face with your own immortality that you raise these questions.  I would hope everyone thinks about these things.  I know in reality they don’t .  How many people live with regrets.  Regrets of not doing, not saying, not forgiving.  I am working hard to not be one of those people.

I’ve had several near death experiences in my lifetime, each time vowing to make each day count.  To be generous of spirit, loving and kind.  To make amends for my wrongdoings.  To help those less fortunate and be there when needed for those who call out.  I make it my daily practice.  Sometimes, i fall behind and slip into my own pain body.  After all, we are all only human.

We all want the same things really.

 To be loved and respected.  To be heard.  To be wanted and cared for.  To be happy.

After coming home from the ER this last time, I was reminded once again how fast life can be lost.  

It’s Thanksgiving Day a few hours south of me.  A day where families get together to celebrate gratitude.  Something we need to pay more attention to each and every day.  For those who are alone and in pain on this day, know I’m thinking about you and sending loving energy.  I know too well what that feels like.  Look inside, look at the small things and be grateful for just taking a breath.  Just taking a breath, nothing more.

I believe the essence of all teachings, from all forms of spiritual communities is the same.

Commit not a single unwholesome act.

Develop a wealth of virtue.

Tame, transform, conquer this mind of ours.

 Be Peace, Compassion and Wisdom.

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We Are What We Think

“We are what we think.

All that we are arises with out thoughts.

With out thoughts we make the world.

Speak or act with an impure mind

And the troubles will follow you 

As the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart.

We are what we think.

All that we are arises with our thoughts.

With our thoughts we make the world.

Speak of act with a pure mind

And happiness will follow you

As your shadow, unshakable.”

From the Dhammapada