(Follow this link to see the December 2019 Priory Newsletter where this was originally published.)
One of my esteemed teachers, Rev. Master Koten of the Lion’s Gate Priory in British Columbia, once shared an image of practice: practice (or maybe he said life, I can’t remember his exact words so maybe it is best to think of it as “life with practice”) is like getting onto a train platform with all your baggage and realizing that the train you want to catch is leaving the station. You try to run along to catch the train with your mountain of bags and you realize that you have a choice, you can either stay on the platform with all the baggage or you can let it go and get onto the departing train.
Although the “baggage” can be anything that we hold onto from the past, today I am thinking of all those hurts and grievances that we accumulate about our friends and family and co-workers: all those people we come in contact with who have been or are important to us in our lives. When we hold onto some slight or grievance, we are insuring at least two hurts for ourselves, the original barb and the hurt we get for repeating the thing in our mind. Each time we repeat the thing in our minds, we can get a new hurt or, seen another way, we reinforce the tie we are making to the original hurt.
Depending on the nature of the hurt it can be very difficult to let a thing go, but if we do not make the effort to let go (and I am talking about “letting go”, not pushing the thing away) a hurt can just hang around Continue reading →