We are The Birds That Stay

‘Tis not that Dying hurts us so –
‘Tis Living – hurts us more –
But Dying – is a different way –
A Kind behind the Door –

The Southern Custom – of the Bird –
That ere the Frosts are due –
Accepts a better Latitude –
We – are the Birds – that stay.
Emily Dickinson

So continuing on with the theme of ‘the¬†immoveable/indestructible you’. And now adding to that thought, why is being mortal such a drag! Buddhism puts it bluntly: We have what we don’t want and we want what we don’t have! Living is about turning that little problem on it’s head. The continuing attempt to do that leads to constant frustration/anger. Which leads to our protecting ourselves by believing things are not the way they are. Or at least not as bad as we think, Oh, and we didn’t want/not want (what ever it was) anyway which is delusion. That’s suffering and the teaching contained within the Twelve Steps of Dependent Origination.is a detailed description of WHY it’s endless. That link takes you to an explanation that could be educational without too much brain pain!

I’m sure I’m not the first person who has thought or wondered about death and become afraid or at the very least disturbed. However for the most part we don’t, we get on with living. Best we can. However when in more reflective moments we may wonder why living is oddly unsatisfactory even when we have what we want. Being alive, or dead, are not choices however the HOW of living (and dying) is. Here is a story.

A nun I’m acquainted with told of a letter she had received from a woman in a prison in Asia somewhere. The details of why she was there I can’t remember but I think she might have been a political prisoner. The woman wrote, Every day the guards take me out of the cell and beat and abuse me. And every day I do my sitting and walking meditation. She concluded by saying, ‘And I am FREE!’ That is an example of spiritual indestructibility. She had passed through the gate, or door, of life and death and found ‘Kind’ behind it.

We are the birds that stay.

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