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Thread: Suffering, the Common Thread

  1. #1

    Suffering, the Common Thread

    Things have been rather dark around the household here lately. A beloved cat passed suddenly and he was only 6 years old. I loved him, but was never too close to him. He was, however, one of my mom's favorites. Mom, like me, feels that animals are equal to people. So, she's been suffering a lot. In a constant state of despair.

    It does something to a child, something horrendous, when you see your parent suffering. It doesn't matter how old you are either. Whether you're 7 or 60, seeing one of your parents breaking down and wailing rocks you to the core.

    I've talked to Mom a bit about Zen, and she appreciates a few of aspects of it. She's a life long Roman Catholic, so she interprets it all through that worldview, which is all right. Yet I dare not offer her philosophy at a time like this. When we're grieving, when we're in despair, words reveal their hollowness. So, I've just been offering the wordless Dharma... kindness.

    Honestly, seeing her break down and hold Eddie in her arms sent me on quite a tailspin. Felt anger, intense anger at the laws of nature. This led to what I can only call a "profound disgust." Like satori with teeth. It gutted me, tore me apart and everything started to waver and I literally almost vomited. Then... I let go and my suffering was just smoke. There was still suffering, but its flow was different. Felt "her" suffering clearly. Realized that when we let go of clinging and craving, that's when we really see and feel people. It makes the Eightfold Path as natural as breathing or pooping.

    The next day, Dad and I went into town for some groceries and I was delighted to be around people. So many of them, all suffering in their own way. All in need of a little kindness and I could really see them, as if I was seeing them for the first time. And all I wanted, all I needed to do, was help anyway I could. This is what caused my "dumbing down" of Zen practice. Like Ikkyu (my spirit animal) said, "The wise know nothing. Well, maybe one song."

    Anywho, still a tough road ahead with Mom. Feel her suffering deeply, because we're not two, but I'll stick by her and help however possible. Sorry for the rant, just felt compelled to share in case anyone has experienced something similar. Being pushed beyond the breaking point, into despair that can't be rationalized or cognized, and then letting go, being with it and watching it all evaporate. Much love and compassion to you Sangha.

    Gassho, John
    Sat Today

    When we let go
    Of our dukkha
    We bear witness
    To the dukkha at large
    Last edited by Nameless; 01-26-2015 at 01:30 AM.

  2. #2
    Nindo
    Guest
    Metta to you and your family.
    You may want to look up the connection between Zen and Catholicism that Muho mentioned ... Thomas Merton, Father Lassalle - maybe you'll find common ground there.

    Gassho
    Nindo
    sattoday

  3. #3
    I am sorry to hear if your lose and stuggles John, much metta to you and your family.

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sattoday

  4. #4
    Metta to all.


    Gassho,
    Myosha sat today
    "Recognize suffering, remove suffering." - Shakyamuni Buddha when asked, "Uhm . . .what?"

  5. #5
    Hello John,

    sorry to hear this all.

    When someone hurts his/her head, that's not the good moment to learn about not hurting your head and how to deal with that. It is all about dealing with the pain.
    "offering the wordless Dharma..." well done, well said.

    Thank you.

    SAT2day
    Kind regards

    Erik

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Hi.

    You hit me right in the feels John. My mother is the most important person in my life. Wouldn't really know what to do without her.
    Much love to you and your family. Thanks for the brave sharing.

    PS. - And yet very little can be used to do great good. Especially in times of distress I find. I have a video for you:



    Gassho
    Meikyo
    SAT TODAY!
    ~ Please remember that I am very fallible.

    Gassho
    Meikyo

  8. #8
    Hi John, sorry to hear about you and your mom's suffering. Thank you for the wise words.


    ..sat2day•

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Meikyo View Post
    Hi.

    You hit me right in the feels John. My mother is the most important person in my life. Wouldn't really know what to do without her.
    Much love to you and your family. Thanks for the brave sharing.

    PS. - And yet very little can be used to do great good. Especially in times of distress I find. I have a video for you:



    Gassho
    Meikyo
    SAT TODAY!
    This is beautiful. Thank you


    ..sat2day•

  10. #10
    Hi John,

    Be close to your mom, listen to her and light some incense for the memory of the kitty.

    I'll the same

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    #SatToday
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  11. #11
    Thank you everyone! You're all beautiful and wonderful people. Much metta to you as well.

    Gassho, John
    Sat Today

  12. #12
    John, nameless, Your friend Elgwyn here. Thinking about the passing of your cat, and it's not exactly like the passing or our dog. Cinco waas 14 years old and that's different from an animal that is 6 years old. I found Cinco dead next to the place where my wife sleeps, an the bed which had been her sleeping mat for 11 years. This dog had been my mother-in-law's dog. When my mother-in-law passed some 3 and 1/2 years ago, the care of Cinco fell to us. She was a bright reminder of the past, and with the dog passing, all living memory of Mom is gone. However, we have pictures, and we have memories. In my wife those memoriees are much more complete, for, of course, mom is my wife's mother. This has been really hard on my wife, and I understand your mother's point of view. For those younger it's difficult to understand how a pet might offer support and even understanding. Cinco the dog is gone, and your mother's cat is gone. For those who love animals, this is hard to take. My wife has a difficult time with death. Death of Cinco, the last being close to Mom, is gone. Cinco had taken care of Mom for more than 9 years because the lady could not hear, and the dog was her ears. Mom is gone, and Cinco is gone, and somehow we are powerless over death. Our livès are changed because of the beings we care about. Pepper our tabby cat has become top animal with Cinco gone. Peper knows she is the sole pet in our home. Funny how animals sense all around us. Just saying John, your mother is correct and how Buddhism regards life should be at the foremost of ourr own lives. I believe life is sacred, and I am life, you are life, my wife is life, and your mother is life. Buddhism has brought me to the brink of eating no flesh. Tonight we ate fish, and knowing that the fish was life did not stop me from eating the flesh of the fish. I am not dealing with this idea well, because I also know that some Buddhists eat meat. These ideas come to me more these past few months because I am taking much more seriously the teachings of the Buddha. For more than 27 years I have had no mind altering substances, and for 14 years, no tobacco, for going on 4 years no caffeine. We make these comittments for a reason. Now I find meaning where before I foound my own grreed and ignorance which was sometimes displaced with anger. I am not angry now. I have what I need, and I love those people closest to me, have love for all. Loving Kindness, this is the root of my practice, so like you and my wife, and your mother, we will be touched by loyal pets, animals who have shared our human nature. We can be satisfied that in the world of cause and effect, we have done the right things. To do the next right thing, for me, that's what it is all about. And since the next action is the next right thing, tonight I am happy.
    Lay member, loving kindness; just a guy, Calm Poet, Ubasoku.

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