As I shared recently I have had some sad events going on including the passing of my Aunt Rosa and the declining heath of my dear teacher Lama Marut. Sadly these things are part of life and none of us are immune to the sadness change often brings.
One thing that really helps me in times of sadness, is gratitude. I have recently been reminded that we cant have 'sad' without 'glad'. It is just the same as the fact that we can't have the light from a candle without darkness. Like everything else sad and glad are interdependent. Lama Marut, amongst other fabulous things, is a master teacher on the concept of interdependence. The truth that everything, including ourselves, is interdependent, and not dependent nor independent.
Interdependence put simply is the understanding that everything is interrelated or in relationship. The example I find easiest to understand is that you can't have an independent giver of a present without a receiver of that present. The giver can only be a giver in relationship with a receiver of the present. And the same is true vice versa. There cannot be a receiver of the present until or unless there is a present and a giver giving it. The two exist in relationship and neither can exist without the other or their relationship. So no independent giver without a receiver and no independent receiver without a giver. The two are in an interdependent relationship of giving and receiving. Neither can exist without the other and neither can come first!
It is the same with everything including sad and glad. So I am sad to have lost the physical presence of my aunt Rosa, but I am so glad to have had such a wonderful connection with her. And I am so grateful to her for so many other things too. I am also glad that the connection we share will continue every time I bring her to mind with gratitude.
Rosa taught me so much through how she lived her life. She reminded me that contentment is a state of mind which is not related to what we have or what we have achieved.
Rosa never married, she was the 6th child of 11! She was very short in stature but was big in heart. My cousins and I were the children she never had and she remained so interested in us, our lives and our families throughout her life. Rosa was not a big traveller, in fact she rarely took her red gemini out of Geelong!. She never travelled overseas or in a plane, and only went on two interstate road trips with relatives. Rosa lived alone in a very small unit that was often frequented by family passing by. She worked for Pilkingtons in Geelong as a glass windscreen inspector. When she retired she loved to walk and would walk to town each day visiting friends and relatives on the way.
So seemingly no great vocational or academic achievements, no travel adventures and enough material possessions. She was somewhat radical in that she did not have the desire to achieve more, to do more or acquire more. She was content with her life. She made her family feel loved and appreciated and for that I am very glad. I am also glad she did not have to suffer for long and that she was surrounded by those she loved when she passed away.
For me she was a very good example of Lama Marut's slogans - "Be Radical, Be Content'! and "I have enough'. Lama Marut taught these helpful slogans to protect and remind us about the dangers of falling into the whole consumer discontentment trap. They are particularly useful at Chadstone!
Rosa's funeral ended with an announcement that Rosa was shouting us all lunch and a beer at the pub where we could laugh and share stories together. It was fun, there was plenty to both laugh and cry about. So, I am both sad and glad together. And it is not goodbye, but instead farewell. Rosa lives on in the hearts and minds of all who loved and knew her and I am very glad of that too.
THANK YOU to you all! Have a great fortnight!