Good metaphor. An honest lesson too. I don't know if I can ever wholly bring my service to others to a place without expectation of something back, so I practice gratitude for others' contributions. Compassion built from my own empty 'nothing back' column.

That's wonderful. That's exactly right.

I think the idea of serving others becoming self-service is an ideal rooted in the concept that at our core, we are all the same. It blurs the lines a bit between yourself and the people you serve. It makes living easier.

Whether or not itís realistically attainable for most people, I donít know. Itís the miracle that is a person like Mother Theresa or Mother Antonia, where a sacrificial lifestyle is not a burden.

Itís not realistically attainable for most people, but I find that inspiring. In so many aspects of my life, I intentionally work towards the unattainable. I benefit from that process.

Practically speaking, weíre all only given small glimpses of clarity now and then. Our lives are mostly filled with delusion and distraction, and for most of us, itís impractical to turn our backs on our delusions and distractions.

Itís human nature to be separated from reality. I donít think we should beat ourselves up for it. I think we should love and accept ourselves for who we are while simultaneously allowing ourselves to improve. Most people are smart enough to embody those dualities, and itís possible to adjust ourselves without judging ourselves.

So, anyway, I was chatting with my brother a little bit earlier today. He talked about coming back from Japan either this Fall or Winter. He said that he was worried about our dadís longevity. He asked me how I would act towards our dad if I knew he would only be here another ten years.

Frankly, I donít even expect him to live that long. I think he meant for me to recognize that Dadís life is finite, but Iíve already been long recognizing that.

A couple of weeks ago, during a dharma talk, the teacher told us a story. He said, ďOnce there was a man who fell off a ten story building. As he saw himself drop past the fifth floor, he said to himself, ĎSo far, so good.íĒ

I told that story to my brother and he said, ďMan, I was hoping it wouldnít end that way.Ē

Weíre all falling, and weíre all looking at the fifth floor saying, ĎSo far, so good.í

In the back of our heads, we recognize it, and weíre scared. I think the trick is to recognize it in the front of our heads. Make it so rather than living with an inexplicable fear lurking in the back of your head, you are cherishing every breath because you recognize that number of breaths you get is finite.

Most days, Iím perfectly content with my bad relationship with my father. I told Joe that I am more worried about my dadís relationship with life than his relationship with me.

Although, since I am adopting Buddhism more fully, I am also starting to adopt the notion of reincarnation.

I donít believe that heíll come back as a frog. I do believe that whatever energy or force that moves on, whether itís back to Earth or somewhere else, he will have a better relationship with life. Reincarnation is not about the preservation of something, but about change and improvement in the next carnation.

0 comments so far

Thursday, May. 15, 2008 at 10:57 PM