Monday, August 8, 2011

Contemplative Monday

This week's 'contemplation' is from the same article as last week by Karen Maezen Miller in the September issue of the Shambhala Sun.

In it Ms.Miller suggests a few ways we can all deal with sadness in our lives:


'When you're sad, be sad.----Maezumi Roshi

"Anger, we despise, but sadness, we might cherish. At least I did. Sorrow can seem such a rich and complex place to dwell; we might forget that it, too, is impermanent.

" One time I went to see Maezumi Roshi after a meditation in which the tears streamed in rivulets down my cheeks. 'I'm sitting in a field of sadness,' I said to him. I was a tiny bit pleased with my poetic expression. I thought we might talk about it, rooting out the cause, and apply a treatment.

"When you're sad, be sad," he said. And that was all he said. I confess I found it abrupt, considering my experience with other counselors. He didn't criticize or correct me, he just didn't dwell. I was unaccustomed of making so little of what felt like so much.

"We usually have an impulse to do something with what we judge to be a 'negative' emotion. Perhaps we should explore, explain, or fix it. Surely it's not 'right' or 'normal'. Is it possible to be sad and then be done with it?

"Sadness is a good guide and even a good sign. Sadness may initiate your spiritual practice. Because most of us suffer when we are sad, it can lead us to seek solace and resolution. You might notice for instance, that when you begin to meditate (pray) or yoga practice, you cry for no reason at all. This can indicate that you are releasing long-held emotions and fears.

To be sure, grief is its own teacher and takes its own time. It feels good to cry. And it feels good to stop. By itself, crying always ends. Sadness changes to something else, because all things, even thoughts and emotions, change when we let them.

Soon enough you'll see that a heartbreak doesn't break anything for long. Take care that you do not turn back and take up permanent residence in the ruin, or you will condemn your life to the shadows of the past. Keep going straight on."

                             Queen Anne's Lace.

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