“Nothing’s permanent, everything’s on loan here, even the wife and kids could be gone next year….”
-The Pretenders (Time the Avenger)
“Ownership is an illusion, let go and be free.”
3 weeks before she died a profound grace fell upon my mother’s heart. There was no more regret, no guilt, and no shame. The past had been consumed by the beauty of the present moment. There was no worry about the future. Her entire focus was now on the gift that was right in front of her. A twinkle returned to her eyes, the one I had seen in pictures of her as a child. The one I had caught glimpses of along the way. The one I had mourned as lost many times. Now, at her bedside we who would go on living were sad, and she the one about to die would cheer us up!
The purity of her presence in these moments, stripped away the many masks I had worn as a way of protecting myself from her broken life. It swallowed my judgmental spirit whole, spit it back out, leaving nothing but forgiveness. Her grace became contagious and I fell under her spell. It was the magic of reality appearing to free us both from the bondage of holding on. Our little talks in those final days, brought home the intimacy we both had craved our entire lives. It was a gift that is still alive in my heart and growing to this very day.
There is a beautiful Native American ceremony where one gives away all one has acquired over the course of life. Everything is given back to the tribe, horses, weapons, home, possessions, children, wife, and at last all ones clothes. The initiate wanders naked into the wilderness to reflect on the true nature of self beyond possession and ownership. When all is stripped away, one re-awakens to the grace that is always present but often unseen. Too many things can often blind a person to the simple gift that lays within and beyond every gift. When the initiate finds freedom, in having nothing but self, they return to the tribe, and one by one are re-gifted with everything they let go of. They return to their former life, only this time with greater appreciation and less attachment.
“Become nothing, and then you really become something!”
-Si Tai Gong
You see you don’t actually own anything, even your own life! All is a gift of the elements of fire, air, water, and earth, and the great mystery that gives birth to us all. When they are ready, they will come and re-claim their gifts.
This not a cause for sadness but for joy! The darkness of delusion is liberated in the light of truth. The temporal realm is illuminated by the light that lives beyond it.
You see making a living is the business of working to gain more.
Creating a life is the art of letting go!
One moves from living through achievement and acquisition, into a life of experience and expression.
This life is unforgettable and will echo in eternity!
Peace Yo, Si Gong
“It’s the heart afraid of breaking, that never learns to dance.
It’s the dream afraid of waking, that never takes the chance.
It’s the one who won’t be taking, who never seems to give.
And the one afraid of dying, that never learns to live.”
-Bette Midler (The Rose)