DAY THIRTY-FOUR: Friday, 23rd April 2010
May all your suffering and pain come to me.
May I undertake everything that you can’t bear.
May all happiness and peace of mind be yours.
Yes, these are the very words that my Guru says to so many on a daily basis.
No, it is NOT just lip service.
It is what he actually PRAYS for.
These words used to scare the living shit out of me, because there was no way I would ever dream of deliberately asking for other people’s grief and suffering to come to me. Especially since I always thought that I already had enough of my own. No, let me re-phrase that – I always believed that I already had enough pain, grief and suffering of my own.
To me, who in their right mind in this world, would ask for other people’s suffering to go to them? It is just unheard of in this individualistic society.
Even if I were seemingly kind enough to endure or bear some of the pain of others, there would always be a limit and there would be conditions or terms tied to them.
There was simply just nothing to gain in wanting other people’s pain to come to me. And it was not like I was that good at dealing with my own pain and problems in the first place. Hence, you can just imagine why I would not and did not wish for that.
But Rinpoche prays for that and more - every single day.
Tonight at Kechara House 1 (because there is a Kechara House 2), Rinpoche gave a mind-blowing talk on miserliness and the different forms of miserliness – physical, mental and emotional. I am sure I fit in all three. But it is the mental and emotional miserliness that really struck me.
Previously, generosity meant that I would give ONLY what I want to give, and it's because I can afford to give.
Mostly, I gave because I wanted people to like me and praise me. There was no way I would give things or do things that I did not want or like. It always remained within the realms of my comfort zones. Above all, it did not require too much effort from me.
In retrospect, my generosity was always tainted with selfishness. That in itself was a startling realisation for myself.
Honestly, the minute I get behind the wheel, my generosity takes a vacation somewhere. God only knows where. I’d find myself cursing away at the first person who cuts me off, or hollering at the driver who decides who drive slower than a senior citizen would, but decides to hog the fast lane anyways.
Most of the time, I’d be wishing I had myself a Batmobile. Then I’d seriously vaporize all the drivers on the road, especially the irritating motor-cyclists. They zoom in and out with no regard to anyone. I always thought that they were such a nuisance, no different than mosquitoes. And yes, if it was allowed, I would have loved to have squashed a few of them for that matter.
I went on to as far as thinking that "them two wheels" should never be allowed to be on the same road as "us four wheels". And then of course, even in the realms of "four wheels", I had the audacity to even believe that those cars which cost less than $100k should automatically give way to those which cost more than a $100k. And they should already know how to give way when they see us coming from a mile, because that was what rear view mirrors were made for. As for the pedestrians walking on the road – well, if they were not blocking my way, then they may walk on. But if they were in my way, then they should just move aside naturally.
Yes, if I had my way and ruled the world, there would be two types of roads – one for us and one for the rest. The rest of us meaning, only the people I like, of course.
To this day, I do not enjoy driving in the city. Driving in the city is a training in patience in itself. I really dread being stuck in traffic jams. So much time wasted in a car! And when it rains - that's like an eternity wasted!
I've always hoped of someone inventing a teleporter or something. And all I need to say is, "Beam to Kechara House", or "Beam me to the Paris".
Upon deeper reflection, anyone who demanded time away from my attachment of doing nothing at all, would be deemed as a real nuisance. Even in regards to my family. I would not give up the luxury of my own time and space for them. If I happened to have absolutely nothing to do and I was already bored with that notion, then and only then would I budge.
So, mentally, I could never be there for anyone. I think I could not even relate to anyone back then.
Emotionally, it was worse. I had such little care and love for myself to begin with, there was no way I could feel more for others.
It was very painful and difficult for me when my daughter arrived into this world. Yes, I was overjoyed with having her but taking care of her was a totally different story. I had no clue what it meant to take care of someone else, to have their needs supersede my own and to put their well-being above my own. I had no idea how to be emotionally generous before she came along.
So, this is why I am and will always be very grateful to her. She really taught me how to care.
And mind you, I did not learn all of it happily nor willingly.
I screamed, I kicked, I spat, I scratched, I punched walls – because it went against everything that I was so accustomed to.
It was not until I became a mother myself that I began to appreciate my own mother, or the roles of mothers in general.
Mothers are truly an amazing breed.
They love us to their last breath. They never stop worrying about their kids. They never sleep until they know that their children are all ok and home safely. And they put up with all our ugliness and sometimes, brutality.
They will endure everything and more for the love of their children, especially for their children’s better future. They define the word: unconditional love.
To a mother, a child is forever her child, even when they have already turned 50 years old.
I guess, our very first lesson in love would always come from our mothers, because of how they have nurtured us and cared for us throughout our lives.
I confess - I am an emotional retard, despite how well I can seemingly speak and write. I still have problems in expressing the way I feel, verbally, to the people who need to hear them. From my mother, to my sisters, to my dad, to my daughter and the list goes on.
I used to think that my heart was encased in a fortress and it was impossible to break through. So, over time, I became more numb and less emotional. I guess this is why Rinpoche said that inside me, there is a heart that is capable of caring and urged me to let it out.
I suppose, it must be the same everyone. Even the worst person you can imagine right now, the one you can’t stand the most – they all have a heart that is very much capable of caring and loving. But unfortunately, we get too caught up with our own issues, our daily struggles and our inner battles. Then we forget about others, we go inward more and more each time something happens. Before we know it, we have resigned ourselves from life and people. We would be physically there but mentally and emotionally, we are absent.
If a witch-bitch Empress of Sloth like me could melt her frozen heart and become a human being again, then I believe, everyone else can achieve so much more.
As much as we all are made equal by the fact that we will eventually die one day, we are all equal in the fact that we feel pain. And it is because we have felt the wrath of pain, we fear it so much. Hence, we pursue happiness or variations of happiness, with such desperation in order to avoid that very pain. It is really our fear of pain that makes us into the miserly, stingy person that we are now – miserly in mind, heart and body. This is why we would only think of protecting ourselves above all else, and first and foremost. It is a self-preservation thing. Because we do not know a better way, so this becomes our only way. The only way we know how.
I have known pain all my life. I have experienced it, lived with it and have even caused it onto others. Sometimes, knowingly. Other times, without knowing. I know of the cause. It all stems from my mind.
Our mind is the only real weapon of self-destruction, as well as, the weapon of mass destruction. We can kill others with our mind and thoughts, as much as we can be killing ourselves. That’s the scariest of reality.
So, tonight, after the talk and much contemplation, I have the courage to finally say these words with conviction, love and joy –
May all your suffering come to me.
May I bear your pain. May I take on all your grief and your sadness. May they all come to me. Because I do not want to see tears streaming down your face. I would like very much to see you smile, especially the smile in your heart.
Take my strength, take my courage. Take whatever you need, so that you can rise tomorrow with hope, grace and joy. May you no longer be afraid – of anything or anyone. May you never be imprisoned ever again. May you truly understand the meaning of liberation, and achieve your own emancipation.
I make this prayer especially to my mother, my sisters, my father, my daughter, my ex-husband, my ex-in laws, my dearest friends, to all the people I have hurt and to the hearts I have broken, and to everyone else.
From my heart, I make this prayer - MAY ALL YOUR SUFFERING COME TO ME.
Now, for my DAY THIRTY-FOUR :-
No. Of Prostrations: 40
Daily Sadhanas: Check and Done with Death Meditation and Dzambala Mantra.
Physical Exercise: 35 minutes
Daily Reflection from "IF NOT NOW, WHEN?" – Here we go. I close my eyes and I picked out page 091.
“When you say you can do something, you may fail and fall flat on your face. That does not mean you have not achieved it – it means you are on the road to achieving it.
It is only when you fall down that you can see how strong you are. When you fall down and you stay down – and you complain, bitch, make people feel sorry for you, want people to give you things – it shows you your lack of strength. It is when you fall down and you are humble, you push yourself and you can never stop that shows that you really practise.”
Personal Thoughts and Feelings:
As I said earlier, my daughter taught me how to care about others, and my mother showed me what unconditional love looks like. But it is really Rinpoche who taught me how to do it all in the most positive way, without causing any harm or hurt to anyone else, not even to myself.
Because of this and more, I am now learning how to become a better mother, daughter, sister and friend to all around me. And this is something I am never giving up on, no matter what happens. For at long last, I am beginning to feel human again and my heart is beginning to feel so much that it is growing bigger each day.
It is too easy to give into our fears and yet, unknowingly, we allow the fear to cripple us bit by bit each day. Before you know it, it has imprisoned you.
I have had enough of living in fear. I have done that for most of my life. I do not want to be imprisoned anymore - be it a fear of failure, a fear of getting hurt or fear of being harmed. I rather be found guilty of doing more and caring more, than less.
We are all much more resilient than we think.
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.