Tuesday, April 29, 2003

working with changes

let's try an experiment.
pick up a coin. imagine that it represents the object at which you are grasping. hold it tightly clutched in your fist and extend your arm, with the palm of your hand facing the ground. now if you let go or relax your grip, you will lose what you are clinging onto. that's why you hold on.

but there's another possibility: you can let go and yet keep hold of it. with your arm still outstretched, turn your hand over so that it faces the sky. release your hand and the coin still rests on your open palm.

you let it go.

and the coin is still yours, even with all this space around it.

so there is a way in which we can accept impermanence and still relish life, at one and the same time, without grasping.

let us now think of what frequently happens in relationships. so often it is only when people suddenly feel they are losing their partner that they realize that they love them.
then they cling on even tighter. but the more they grasp, the more the other person escapes them, and the more fragile the relationship becomes.
so often we want happiness, but the very way we pursue it so clumsy and unskillful that it brings only more sorrow. usually we assume we must grasp in oder to have that something that will ensure our happiness. we ask ourselves:
how can we possibly enjoy anything if we cannot own it?
how often attachment is mistaken for love?

even when the relationship is a good one, love is spoiled by attachment, with its insecurity, possessiveness and pride; and when love is gone, all you are left to show for it are the "souvenirs" of love, the scars of attachment.
sogyal ringpoche: "the tibetan book of living and dying"