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When the Ground Beneath Your Feet Doesn't Feel Solid Anymore

We spend a great deal of time thinking our existence is permanent and the world around us feels quite solid. We are of course fooled in to this behaviour because largely a lot of life can go unchanged for long periods of time until somethings happens that shakes our ground and we realise it is not so solid after all.

Quite recently I have had a good run at feeling like I am on solid ground, slow steps forward have been every increasing but then yesterday that feeling of being grounded in a permanent sustainable existence was gone in an instant with a phone call from my daughters school. She had suffered a seizure. Her first in two years, and this time it was different, there was no temperature, its wasn't a febrile convulsion. This was new territory, a new kind of seizure, a new problem to try and solve.

For the first time in a long time I felt disoriented, and whilst driving in my car to meet the ambulance I started to feel myself getting angry. Why more suffering, has my little girl not suffered enough already. If suffering was dished out fairly we would all take a cup, rather than some of us taking 10 cups and others none.

That's how it feels at the time, it is all to easy to feel angry and bitter rather than focusing on love and compassion for all of us who feel we have had our fill. And extending that love and compassion to those who do not understand that suffering. The use of the words ' I hope she will be better soon' too easily make my blood boil. 'Hope' is an empty word, it gives people ground and permanance in a world where there is none.

We can let the seeds of suffering cause us more pain, or we can choose to sit with the Buddha and begin to understand why we feel the pain. We shouldn't allow the suffering to stop us from being happy. And my little girl beaming from ear to ear this morning showed me that love can carry us through our pain. Dark days can be followed by bright ones. Her state of good health today, may not be the case in a weeks time but through the ups and downs we must hold on to love and compassion in our hearts. If we do not then the suffering will turn to anger and bitterness and no light will shine in our hearts. So when I next catch my self saying I have had enough of suffering I will turn to Quan Yin and be reminded that love and compassion can dissolve the pain of unhappiness. Suffering is a lesson in unconditional love, and in our darkest of days if we listen to our hearts and offer our sufferering to the Buddhas and the Bodhisattva's we can learn how to live without fear, embracing suffering for what it is, a part of life that without it's existence we would never see the beauty of a perfect sunrise, we would never see a smile and appreciate it's energy. Namo Amida Butsu.

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Comment by Vajrapala on July 3, 2016 at 16:44

Thank you Kusuma for sharing.

This is very helpful.

Namo Quan Shi Yin Bosat.

Comment by Kaspalita on June 8, 2016 at 12:45

Thank you for sharing - very moving. Wonderful how Grace chose just the right story.

Comment by Kusumavarsa Dawn Hart on June 8, 2016 at 10:54
The evening after it happened Grace asked me to read a story from the Buddha at Bedtime. It is not a book she would normally choose as there are not many pictures and the stories are quite long. But she insisted I read the story of 'The Brave Little Parrot'.
When the angry wind creates a storm that starts a forest fire the Blue Parrot escapes the fire then realises his friends cannot. He swoops down to where there is water and carries a few water droplets on his wings back to the fire. It fizzes but it is not enough to stop the flames. The little bird continues on this quest becoming more and more tired but he never gives up. One of the gods transforms in to an eagle and flies to him telling him his attempts are pointless and he should just save himself and not his friends. He ignores the God because he loves his friends so much and can't bare to leave them. The God is so moved by the Blue parrots compassion for his friends that he begins to cry,and those tears of compassion put out the flames of anger. All the animals were saved.
Each story has a moral this one reads: ' Sometimes we can feel helpless when faced with a great challenge. A wise person knows that love and compassion can give them the courage to achieve things that they thought were impossible'.
What a powerful story and I felt that is was a sign from the Buddha himself, telling me not to feel angry and afraid. I think small children give us the great lessons in the Dharma. NAB
Comment by Sujatin on June 8, 2016 at 10:33

Namo Quan Shi Yin Bosat - holding you in my heart

Comment by Jnañamati on June 7, 2016 at 16:32

Thank you for sharing this touching reflection Kusuma and for showing us how Quan Shi Yin can take whatever form is needed, and most powerfully sometimes in something like the action of "a little girl beaming from ear to ear". Namo Amida Bu

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