(Questions by poet Jane Hirshfield)
What is my responsibility?
What must be suffered?
What can be changed?
What can I know?
How can I meet this in a way which both lets me open my eyes the next day and also, perhaps, if I’m lucky, can be of service to a changed future?
My responsibility is to love, to give compassion, to be kind.
My responsibility is to care, to be present, to give myself and others the gift of my true presence.
My responsibility is not to multitask, rush, or stress out.
What must be suffered? Life. Life is suffering and life is bliss and everything in between except boring. Boredom is death. Death must be suffered?
I can change my mind. I can change my body. I can change my heart. I can change my little self. I can change my limits. I can change my beliefs. I can change my values, priorities, pet peeves, attachments, wishes and desires. I can change myself. I cannot change my ever-present awareness. I cannot change my true nature, which is love.
We can change our relationship to Mother Earth. We can change our lifestyle. We can change our level of consumption. We can change our use of plastic. We can change our connection to earth, sea, sky, the seven directions (east, south, west, north, above, below, within). We can connect our heart to the heart of Mother Earth and the heart of Father Sky.
I can know my name, I can know my age, I can know my race and ethnicity. I can know my energy level. I can know your name, age, race, ethnicity, energy. I can know your religion. I can know my religion. I can know we are the same. I can know oneness. I can know separation is an illusion. I can know truth. I can know the beauty that surrounds us. (Isn’t it a pity? Isn’t it a shame? How we break each others’ hearts and cause each other pain? ~George Harrison)
How can I be of service to a changed future?
By cultivating more consciousness, compassion, clarity.
By recommitting to my practice in each moment of each day.
By breathing in and out.
By learning and sharing what needs to and wants to be shared, through my practices of writing and teaching.
By being fully here and now.
By loving kindness.
The Four Reminders ~ the venerable Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Joyful to have
Such a human birth
Difficult to find,
Free and well-favored.
But death is real,
Comes without warning.
Will be a corpse.
Are the laws of karma,
Cause and effect
Cannot be escaped.
Is an ocean of suffering