Then out of the blue…

something lovely happens…

So something good happens… At last!  Sometimes life feels full of sadness,mediocrity, boredom and drama so, when something good comes along, it is important to embrace it, live it and enjoy it.  It is crucial to live in the present moment, feel and savour every second because this immediate event will not last and it would be all to easy to allow its impermanence to spoil the joy.

And now, it is over.  And, of course, because life is as it is I want more.  I always want these moments to last longer, to repeat themselves more often.  It is “dukkha” – the suffering that occurs because everything in the ordinary, unenlightened life is ultimately unsatisfactory and changes, passes away.  So in these hours, days, weeks after the something magical and lovely, I have to be aware.  I have to be on guard against suffering unduly.  I have to be aware of my emotions, my tendency to be sad and regretful.  I have to stay calm and focussed, grateful that life offers these gems of happiness.

The problem with wonderful events is that life can become a roller coaster!  I have experienced this so often – especially over the past year.  I could have  ran down the flower edged grassy bank with glee resulting in a messy fall, crashing   in a heap at the bottom.  So I ran down that bank more mindfully, with more awareness. Remembering the importance of valuing and rejoicing in those lovely, gleeful, special events because they light up my life, my heart, my soul.  They show me that I can be happy, content and at peace.

So now I am keeping those wonderful hours alive in memories.  Not to live in the past but to help me through sadder days – to help me climb those hills, clamber over the jagged rocks.  Those few hours helped heal deep cuts and grazes caused by my recent crashes and falls.   And those magical hours have not left me empty!  They have left me with a deep, beautiful, loving, spiritual friendship which means the world to me.

So I continue to walk along my path holding onto the joy, peace and happiness I found.  I have had to clamber over a couple of rocks today but I have used these new tools to help me negotiate a safe path and climb over in one piece.


A pit stop…


Time to pause – to take a break; have a coffee and a slice of (vegan) cake.  Time to reflect.  Where am I on my path?  Am I negotiating the hills and rocky places?  Am I managing to push my way through the bushes and forests?  Have I actually managed to climb my way out of the dark, deep chasm in which I found myself?  Am I enjoying those (brief) times when my path is easy and is edged with flowers and trees and the sun is shining?  Is my destination any clearer?  Am I walking in the same shoes – do I need to change my clothes? Find a travelling companion?  Use another mode of transport?  Big challenging questions which I will reflect on as I walk.

At one time I had a travelling companion.  This amazing man set me off on my journey and stayed with me for a while. He always described our journey as being on a train going towards a destination taking breaks at various stations on the way.  Looking back, it was a train so I had no control of the journey – I boarded the train and had to stay on it or choose to leave at the next station.  I boarded that train happily and was content with the journey but we would get to a station and the destination would change.  And in the end it was not me that crashed that train – I was pulling on the emergency chord to no avail.  After that we walked together for a while on the same path.  I saw our path stretching far into the future.  But, one night, under the cover of darkness, he slipped off our path and went  down another…. He decided that ours was not his path. I have no idea where that goes but I hope it is his path and that he finds happiness on it.  Maybe, one day, our paths will come together once more.

So I am left walking that path – a Buddhist path – going for refuge in the Three Jewels.  It is the path, the way that I have chosen.  Walking, crawling, running…  I am in control of where I walk, how I react to the environment and the route I choose to take.  This path has its twists and turns.  Everyday life throws in obstacles which I try very hard to negotiate skillfully – sometimes I succeed; often I stumble.   There are often interesting side paths and lanes which entice me to explore but they are a distraction.  Sometimes I go off my path and find myself in a very wet, soggy, muddy ditch.  BUT – and this is a bit BUT – I climb back out onto my path and keep going.  I continue on my path trying hard to keep to the 5 precepts and seek guidance and support from my friends, from the Sangha.

So I am treading the Buddhist path – practising the Dharma as best as I can.  I have a final destination I guess, but that is too far ahead, too much in the distance, I am not sure of the exact route.  So I have to look at my map and find landmarks along the way – look for a route which will lead – eventually – to my final destination.