Sunday, 6 July 2014

Interesting Times

As the Chinese saying goes: 'may you live in interesting times.' It is considered to be a curse by some... and this is where I find myself now, in a swirling mist of shadows, internal and external.

My grandma's funeral is being planned for late August / early September, she donated her body to the Science dept at the University and they have now released it so we can have a ceremony. Mum asked if I had a preference for the grave / memorial - I said it might as well be in Israel, where she lived most of her life after all. I'm not much of a visitor of graves for grieving, I have my own memories inside me, I have a painting of her on the wall, some of her jewellery on my shelves. I'm not sure if we are cremating her or burying her, I'm fine with either, it is the person I miss, not the body she inhabited, I don't mind what happens now. Maybe some of the grief will lift and the heaviness will dissipate from my heart now.

The other external news is that last week I was told by the management at the centre that they are cancelling my meditation class and that I will be teaching another one on a Thursday instead. I am a slow processor of emotional information, I have been teaching that class for six years. I will keep in contact with people, I will think about them and have dinner with them, and I will wonder how all the others are doing as I always have done with people that I have lost touch with, I will try and remember their names and wonder if they are still happily married, how old their children are now, if they still meditate at all. In some ways it is not losing the class that makes my heart ache, it is being told, with no consultation, that we are disbanding a regular class for monetary reasons, that getting between 10 and 20 people a week is not enough, that no other options were considered, all those people can simply find another class in the next town over. When I told them on Tues night at the class (and on facebook for the ones who missed it) I was not expecting such a strong response. One of my students said:  'I remember coming to class and saying to Nat, 'it just is not for me to be happy in this life' her reply was 'of course it is'. I said 'really', 'yes' she replied. It was then that I really believed, that was the beginning of my Buddhist journey, I now live with the teachings in my heart and mind everyday.' I don't remember that, it's funny how you influence people without even knowing. The students are upset and bewildered but it will settle down and we will see what happens.

As for me, I am choosing not to make any decisions right now, I am going to visit my family soon so I will take the opportunity to look at things from a different angle, take my time, see what my heart says, see what the Buddhas tell me, see what the world presents me with in that time. The funny thing about all this is that even in the midst of all this shadow and mist, I feel like there is opportunity lurking, obstacles being cleared away, space created for things to happen that could not have come to pass without all this change. It feels like maybe some of this is leaving my heart and I am starting to feel lighter than I have for a while. Who knows what things may come.

Whenever my teacher used to give us schedules for things there was always this footnote at the bottom that said 'Please remember that all things are impermanent and subject to change.' Life's fine print warning - thank you for the reminder.


  1. Dearest 'Nat, I'm sure you have been a quiet (or loud & happy) influence on many hearts and minds. Just now you have been for me, reading this post. Because of course you are right; amid the murk and confusion there is so much new growth; seeds planted in dark earth pushing the soil aside and sprouting for the open air, the darkness and light and rain and sun of the aboveground world. Nothing is lost, all is changed, and changed again countless times, the law of conservation of energy means nothing ever ceases, only changes. And the future is all around us and within us, coming into being in every instant. Bless you for reminding me!

    1. Nothing ceases, only changes.... I like that! And of course it is true.... only sometimes it is easy to forget, and other times I wish there was less changing.... Oh well. I hope the murk of confusion grows some beautiful flowers for us all! x