Sunday, May 6, 2012

Ahimsa & Non-Attachment

Judgmental thinking is by its nature negative, isn't it? Every time I think, "I ought to be doing x-y-z," or "I can't x-y-z," I am in a small way judging what I am doing. The idea that there is something other than what is so, other than what I am actually doing, that would be "better" for me to do, reeks of wishing I was other than what/who I am. This is harmful to me. It is not the same thing as choosing to do something different; it is negative thinking about what I am doing. It seems small and without substance most of the time, but it reaches deeply into devaluing the self. There is a sense of insufficiency, of making mistakes, that the thought or act is not the "right" thought or act. Attaching judgment like this to the self leaves little room for acceptance and the growth that naturally occurs when those "good/bad/should have" barriers to possibility are left open.

I felt joyous this morning, and noticed that with surprise and amusement since today is the first anniversary of my father's death, one week after my mother's death last year. How was I "supposed" to feel? The sun lit up the dew on the grass, illuminating the delicate petals of the crabapple against the intense blue sky. Images of the hospital room appeared in my memory, of those last hours at my Dad's side, in which we gazed into each other acknowledging the transition taking place. Nodding at this as memory, knowing the physical man is gone, I walked into the kitchen and began cutting the one grapefruit remaining in the refrigerator. It was an unplanned celebration. Every morning my father's morning ritual was just this, a half a grapefruit or a slice of melon depending upon the season. A deep pleasure filled me, relishing being alive as the flavor burst forth in my mouth. I remember him telling me that it was that first bite of grapefruit that would get him out of bed in the morning.

Perhaps on this day I "ought to be" sad, and there are moments in any day when I find that can be the dominant feeling, yet I am essentially grateful for this human experience in its fullness. Glad I was able to connect to my parents before I lost them. Glad that I was present for the moonlit night and this sunlit morning. I am not attached to my sorrow or my joy. I am not looking for symbolic capsules in which to place my heart. Yet the crabapple my mother gave me is now in full bloom, and the perigee moon (the fullest moon of the year when the moon is closest to the earth) rose last night, just as it did on the solstice last year when my father ruptured his esophagus. And there was one grapefruit left in the fridge this morning. It was delicious.

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