one of the things i have the most trouble with studying buddhism- is trying to stay in the moment. one of the main tenets of buddhism is that life is constant change. moment by moment is changing- whether we can sense it or feel it- many buddhists liken it to waves upon the sand. perhaps it is just me or perhaps it is the culture that i grew up in- i don't know- but i do know i have always struggled with change. i really don't know how people cope with loss- of loved ones especially- but they have been doing it for milennia. lately, it just feels like sand in the hour glass slipping quickly away. the damned general electric commercial song has been playing through my mind over and over- which is probably what they wanted but i am not going to rush out and buy a new fridge. maybe it's the change of seasons too- i love autumn but it comes in bittersweet always as the death of summer and onset of winter sets in.
the fact that there is such a disparity between what i see passing for 'discourse' in american life these days and the love i have in my own circle- mr. betmo and i celebrated our twelfth married year and a buddy of mine- her parents- their 48th. and we all still love each other. insulating myself has certainly been less stressful but it sets up a different host of issues as the insane 'real world' clashes with my version of reality. it also doesn't help that i have been reading walt whitman and henry david thoreau- because that has helped drive the point home that human nature doesn't change. technology changes- human beings don't.
and i guess in the grander scheme of things- i don't care about other people. self centered and egocentric for sure but when push comes to shove, the only people i know i can rely on are my family. we have always been on the outside looking in and i used to feel it in a negative way. now, i am grateful we were different. life is so fragile and so many people just squander it and fritter it away. thoreau- to paraphrase- believed that people should better themselves mentally. he believed that people should actively learn- read classics and not just pop literature or the newspaper. what i found amusing- and i chuckle as i read- his opinion of the news mirrors many of ours today- he said that they could simply keep printing the same stuff out of europe (of his time in the 1840's) and mix up the names a bit- or not- and folks wouldn't know the difference. he felt that they were simply gossip rags. he also believed too many folks were too dependent on buying things and being upwardly mobile. not much has changed in a couple hundred years.
anyhoo- i have been keeping up with the news on the periphery and been reading folks who are eloquent in the english language. it keeps my mind sharp and it keeps me focused on what is. it doesn't help me deal with change and the fact that time keeps slipping away from me. i guess that comes with trying again to live each moment to the fullest and appreciating what i have now.
i have to stop trying to catch the wind.