Rolling Rocks And Sympathy

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I am sitting on a bench trying to find words. I’ve made a lot of mistakes lately. Said the wrong thing; not said a thing; not known the right thing to say or just not wanted to say it. And then seen the ill created around me for all the times I do not know or cannot do what is right.

I feel like an ill wind, and a bit untrustworthy. But if I cannot trust myself, then where is stable ground? I have heard people say that Dharma pulls the rug out from under your feet, and from what I’ve seen that’s true. But this isn’t a cute philosophical crisis; this is the business of everyday life. I can deal with losing the cushioning but I’m not ready to be groundless; I need at least a hard wood floor.

In case it is not clear what I’m talking about–and I imagine that it’s not–I’m talking about limits. I’m talking about the places where kindness and patience run out, but where they run out so fast that you don’t even notice that they’re gone, and you just reactreactreact.

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In a concrete sense, I am talking about things like grocery lists gone wrong and unplanned menu changes and finding some one to do the dishes when you thought you had clarified the issue the day before and before and before, but still, no. I am talking about money spent and time wasted, or perhaps not, and all of the hard edges that come from feeling like you are pushing a rock up a hill that will just roll down when you are finished, but oh also, you will never be finished. And that sentiment without even the peace of a stable task on which to rest your mind. Like rolling ten rocks up a landslide at the same while it hales and marmots bite your ankles and some one wants to know where the scissors are and something smells like it’s burning and meanwhile you are supposed to be graceful because you are doing this for all sentient beings and also your esteemed teacher is having tea in the next room.

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Will you do me a favor, friends? Don’t give me sympathy. Lately sympathy just turns to self-pity, to the idea that it is that hard, and it will get better, and this situation is the struggle. But you know what? From what I understand, the situation is a bitch. People are independent and think differently and put ourselves first even when we try not to because half the time we don’t even realize we’re doing it. This is the bitch we call Samsara.

Maybe things could be easier for me than they are at the Maison des Lamas, but I am so tired of thinking I’ll someday not be tired and becoming hard and wishing for things to be different that I don’t want to keep wanting easier circumstances. I want the capacity to no longer see hardship as difficulty. I know I’m not there yet, and I know I’m going to need a hell of a lot more sympathy before I get there, but for today, I need that kindness to come from inside. Because right now I just turn everything else to righteousness, and I want no more of that.