I’m visiting (and that’s taken up a lot of my focus recently) an elderly woman who recently moved to a care home on Marine Drive, Morecambe. I have struck it lucky these past couple of weeks with the waters in the Bay almost lapping up against the sea defenses. From her room my fellow Buddhist friend has a view of the Bay with the Lakeland Fells fringing the skyline. There is quite a bit of settling in arranging statues and pictures and treasures so she can be reminded and inspired of her Buddhist affiliations. Too bad she is not able to bend and twist sufficiently to see the view.
She has a single-sheet daily quote calendar beside her bed. When I’m there, if it’s not been done already, I tear off pages to bring it up to date and recycle the paper. Here recycling a quote from Albert Einstein:
A human being is part of the whole called by us “Universe”, a part limited in time and space. They experience themselves, thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to enhance all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
I’d replace “Universe” with “the Great Earth” which in Buddhist terms means Everything, seen and unseen or I guess “the Universe without edges” would work too. Anyway, hope this has inspired you on this long holiday weekend.
All merit goes to those who are not able to bend and twist so well. Either permanently or just at the moment. Such a condition need not be part of being ‘in prison’ though it may well feel like that. Sorry.
2 thoughts on “In Prison, Or Not. Compassion The Key”
‘Bending and twisting’ came to an abrupt halt for me some years ago, and although at first I felt imprisoned I soon began to appreciate how the stillness of body permeated the mind, bringing a new appreciation of the Great Earth. And Einstein’s Universe.
Deep bows to your newly imprisoned, free friend.
Thanks Lorrie. At some level she is free however with dementia it is hard to say what’s what. However we connect heart to heart and there is no mistaking that connection for sure. No walls, no doors. No ceiling either. Thank you especially for sharing your insight.