Friday, March 31, 2006


My mother has just left after spending a week here in New England. What is it about mothers that are a joy to have and at the same time annoying to have visit. It's amazing to me that no matter how old I get there is a component of our relationship that never changes. She still thinks she knows what's best, she still tells me what to do, and she still freely gives me her opinions about my hair, clothes, appearance, lifestyle, . But I guess this is what we expect from our mothers too.

My mother did bring a certain interesting story with her this time taken out of eastern philosophy. I'm not sure where she came up with this, as my mother is a pretty traditional baptist Texan, but the story she talked about was interesting and i was proud of her for kind of stepping out of her bounds. This was the story she relayed to me:

"One day some people came to the master and asked: How can you be happy in a world of such impermanence, where you cannot protect your loved ones from harm, illness or death? The master held up a glass and said: Someone gave me this glass; It holds my water admirably and it glistens in the sunlight. I touch it and it rings! One day the wind may blow it off the shelf, or my elbow may knock it from the table. I know this glass is already broken, so I enjoy it -- incredibly." (Theravandan Meditation Master) - Achaan Chah Subato

At first when she told me this I really didn't think about it much, but since then I've been thinking about it nearly constantly. That the moment that you buy something or engage in something or begin something it is broken, or finished, or ending. This idea resonates powerfully for me, as sometimes I find myself so involved with trying to keep it new, fresh, to find the meaning or to understand, that I immobilize myself. So I have found if I can figure out how to accept that the cup is already broken the moment I buy it or come in contact with it, maybe I can find freedom in that. Freedom from feeling so trapped and sad by so many things in life that don't seemingly work out...even though many times it turns out to be a blessing. Freedom in the realization that things never remain the same, and although hard for I think many of us to accept really is a way to be more at peace knowing that the moment we aqure the cup it is already broken and we are then free to enjoy it for what it is in the time that we have it. Perhaps even more so than we once would have before having that realization.

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