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.

Day 15 of Self Love-Challenge

When positive or joyous feelings and attitudes pass through each organ and circulate throughout our whole system, our physical and chemical energies are transformed and balanced.”

Tarthang TulkuImageAbove you see a Medicine Buddha Thanka.  A dear Tibetan friend brought it to me when he visited.  His father was a famous Thanka painter in Ladakh, and passed away while my friend was here. I am so blessed to have such a powerful gift and spirit in my meditation room.  In Buddhism, we are taught that everything has the power to heal and cure.  That means, anything we encounter in life.  The people, their actions, words, situations, everything.  That means the painful situations too.  They serve as beneficial medicine.

This is an important concept because it means that so often our well being is in our own hands.  The world and everything in it can be used to heal our heart and restore our health.  Words, relationships, medicines, diet, friends, massage, nature, crystals, prayer, animals…..The list is endless.

The Medicine Buddha is my personal spirit guide.  I require healing and I also had spent many years as a nurse, healing others.  Many mornings I sit in front of him and intellectually know, healing comes from the mind and yet, despite much practice, my heart still hurts.  It’s a lifelong practice, this healing.

I look at him, perfect in balance.  His internal and external harmony exists.  He sits in Lotus position and in a form such as Shakyamuni did.  Brilliant in sapphire blue he sits with his right hand holding a healing plant called myrobalan.  Sometimes. it’s as if he is actually handing it to me.  His fingers touch the earth, a place where I also find comfort.   His left hand is in mudra and holds a monk’s begging bowl that is filled with healing elixir called “the nectar of deathlessness.”

And yet, my heart still hurts.  My body is still in pain and ill.  I will continue for as long as it takes.  I want to be cleansed of the toxins from my past and present.  I want to be rid of the negativities,, the fears, illusions and karmic imprints.  The energy flows between us and amongst us all.  After all. thats all we are is energy.  We are all connected and are of one.  All of us.

It has been a difficult week and I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut by another mode of rejection.  Silly perhaps, but the energy swirls around me as I fend it off with my spiritual practice, understanding and forgiveness in my heart.  It doesn’t have to be this difficult when we all want the same things.  To be loved.  To be heard.  To be happy and wanted.  It really doesn’t have to be so hard..but it is.

Today’s practice and solitude are gifts to my body.  It can’t take any more battles and beatings from outside energies.  For too long, I pushed it and pushed it, demanding it perform under almost inhumane circumstances of the  chaotic energy of adoption and reunion, never mind the actual physical demands.  It tried to tell me, to show me, to make me pay attention but I, being the good little adoptee just kept going.  Now, even with the help of Medicine Buddha and  a healing package from Ayu Lhamo a Shaman in Ladakh my body weakens and screams in pain.

My mind, is learning to let go, despite not understanding, but knowing the realities of what is..With this comes healing.

When you try to become mindful of your your thoughts it covers almost everything.  The entirety of consciousness, all of our moods and emotional reactions.  It’s becoming aware of how we alone conceptually construct our world and it’s reality.  In this way, we can let go of who we used to be and be renewed.  It helps me deal with my sadness and also how I experience joy.  Acceptance and equanimity..that’s the ultimate goal.

Once we are no longer tied to who we used to be and how we think things should be….based on the past…We become free to be authentically who we are.

Center yourself in the moment and relax.

Let go of your thoughts.

Just let them come and go and settle down.

Breathe in through your nostrils.

Relax and breathe out, saying Ahhhh

Hold out your breath for a moment of emptiness .

Stay centred, and allow yourself a moment of being, just being….

So simple, so free and easy…..

Today, I will remember to accept myself as the person I am now, not the person I used to be.  I will re-energize and allow my body to feel the change and rest.  I will smile knowing I am on the right path.  I will just be….