Greif, pain, loss, anxiety, blame, fear, hate, jealousy, anger, ego, greed, spite, Covid, President Trump – Negative Emotions and news feeds of the most fantastic variety, daily, and for some, by the minute, and for those that suffer the most , by the second.
So many are running around with the wrong views – and won’t admit it – even in the Churches and Temples, not to mention the Cactus Clubs.
All of us must face negative emotions, that is most certainly part of life.
I got this email (copy below) today from a friend and business associate of mine who did not know Emily had died, until someone told him today (Nov 20, 2020) and he wrote me a kind note.
And below that is my response, as the note from my friend sparked emotions immediately within me.
When we lose a loved one, obviously, negative emotions enter our minds in such a big way, and sadness is only one of them.
Even in much smaller events of day-to-day life, including COVID restrictions and Presidential Elections – Human Emotions and Opinions run wild, especially amongst those filled with the maximum level of illusion and ego.
Even if someone looks at you the wrong way or cuts you off in traffic, you can go insane. Not to mention, mercy , if they ask you to wear a mask for the safety of others and yourself, and instead of putting on the mask, they end up demonstrating in the streets , and then you can be sure that Castanet or some other news service will be there to ensure the “beat goes on” and it will be viewed by thousands of both cheering and angry fans in the sports like stadium of illusion and ego which is filled with all kinds of fun and interesting things.
Only the most enlightened stand outside the stadium of illusion and silently meditate together the following immense and most compassionate statement I have ever come to understand: “forgive them, for they know not what they do”.
If that is not enough, you can flick on the radio to hear an ad by BC Drug Overdose Prevention telling you to fear not, you do those drugs, Nalaxone will save you.
Not one mention about the understanding or the healing power of the immense universe you have helped create, but Nalaxone? My goodness, that is so wrong.
So many examples, and again most recently, Covid and The US Election Gong Show, as people rage on with various opinions, stress, and wrong views, amazingly, on both sides of the coin. Ignorance could not be any more obvious.
Every time you turn around it is easy to conclude that someone is doing us wrong, not to mention the natural desire to only look after yourself and forget others in most of what we do. And for many, this is further fueled by alcohol and other stimulants.
It is possible to step out of this mess of emotions and find peace and happiness. And that begins with introspection of the way things are, period.
And that is possible when one commits themselves to looking deeper into the true nature of themselves and begins to develop wisdom, which is always joined by compassion for others, which leads to happiness.
Again, thank you to my Dear Friend Randy who helped me touch reality and walk around the quiet park of warmth and compassion that we are all invited to call home.
Sherman Dahl, The Emily Dahl Foundation
This is the email that an old friend/associate sent me earlier today (Nov 20, 2020), as he must have just found out Emily died in Jan 2019. This happens often that I encounter an old friend that I have not seen or spoken with recently, and even those that I do not even know that wish to extend their condolences to me and my family. It is always nice when someone reaches out to help you. This friend of mine also lost a loved one in the fall of 2018.
“Hi Sherman – I am very saddened having read about Emily – I can only imagine the grief and pain that you and your family have gone through and will continue to…every day.
I know not a day passes without you thinking about her and what a terrific daughter and young lady the world lost. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. Sincerely, Your Friend Randy”.
And here is what I wrote back to him.
Developing and nurturing the “right view” in life – does not come easy – but it is always possible.
Just like it is always possible to show kindness and warmth like my friend did, versus dishing out anger and vile opinions that pop into your mind by the second.
His thoughtful note has allowed us to touch the loss of our loved ones and reflect on the true nature of things together and I thanked him for that. Now that is the kind of beat that should go on!
My Dear Friend Randy,
Thank you for your kind thoughts about Emily.
In the fall of 2018 while you were suffering the loss of your loving wife, Emily was traveling in Belize for 3 months and in November 2018 I spent about 2 weeks traveling in Thailand.
When Emily returned in Dec 2018, we and had some very good talks about how many of us have the wrong view as we pursue happiness.
Most of society sadly operates with the illusion that happiness is somehow found in the material world. This is simply not the case.
Emily spent her life helping others and showed immense compassion in all that she did in a world that is dominated by greed, anxiety, and fear.
This was not a world that Emily was fond of. She told me that in December 2018. Emily was a very enlightened person.
I was indeed, near destroyed and shocked when Emily took her own life in Jan 2019. This immense and tragic loss of the form of Emily had the effect of burning all the illusion and ego that had dominated my thinking for a large part of my 54 years.
As a seed in your mother’s womb, you find no such illusion as you are wrapped in love and compassion at that point of your life.
Then you are “born”, and the real fun begins. The physical form of all us is nothing more than that, a physical form.
If you have the strength to look deeper, you will find that there is much more to you, me, and Emily, than a physical form.
I see Emily everywhere. In me and Katie, her mother, her brothers, her friends, and everywhere. This brings me strength and happiness, not grief and pain.
When you spend time with your children, you must see and feel yourself, smiling and hugging you. Unless you are so full of illusion that you are blind.
I wrote this article recently and it highlights how I see my wonderful daughter Emily.
“Emily is Like a Cloud “
It is not uncommon for people to ask you; “When is your birthday?”.
The date of this writing is May 16, 2020, and it is my 54th birthday.
This brings me to what I consider to be a most interesting question: “Before this day, which is called my birthday, where was I?”.
And I would pose this question to you: “Before you were born, where were you?”
A few weeks ago, I was with a very close friend sitting outside on his property in Kelowna. We were just sitting in his backyard looking at the clouds and I had a remarkable realization that we are kind of like a cloud. My friend and I just sat there quietly and considered it together, it was so nice.
Now I think of my daughter Emily and I think of others when I look at a cloud. I even called my friend the next day and thanked him for that lovely few moments sitting with him in his backyard. He felt the same thing as me.
If you ask a cloud, “How old are you?” you may listen very deeply, and you may hear an answer. You can almost imagine the cloud beginning as water on the lakes surface or beginning as the sun that turns water into vapour. The wind is there as well. The cloud just like me, you and Emily does not come from nothing. There has been a change in the form for sure, but you simply cannot have a birth of something from nothing.
Sooner or later, the cloud will change into rain or something. The cloud is not lost. Emily is not lost. It is simply transformed into something new.
If you look deeply into the cloud you can see this transformation. You can see the rain, the sun and the wind. If you can see that you can see it will transform into the grass that you sit on to enjoy your remarkable life.
Everyone has been asking me what I am going to do on my birthday.
I am going to look at the clouds and imagine that cloud turning into rain, which waters the sun-soaked grass, which feeds the cows that will allow me to enjoy my DQ Ice Cream Cake later!
This is a great lecture by Thich Nhat Hanh that everyone should consider in fullness and with an open mind. Or you can continue with the silliness and the illusion, as most of us do.
This is a great lecture by Thich Nhat Hanh that everyone should consider in fullness and with an open mind. Or you can continue with the silliness and the illusion , as most of us do.
|A Cloud Never Dies | by Thich Nhat Hanh Thay shares with the children at Blue Cliff Monastery about the cloud in a cup of tea.|