Groundlessness

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At the heart of Buddhism is the idea of accepting what Pema Chodron calls ‘groundlessness’.

Nothing is guaranteed. Nothing is promised, except the death of this life.

That’s it.

Suffering, according to Buddhists, is caused by attachment. We become attached to what we know, what we love, what we expect to happen next.

It gives us a sense of safety. Of security. Our poor little brains crave that. It’s also what causes suffering  because when we don’t get ‘it’, we suffer.

For some, if they don’t get those new shoes, suffering occurs. For others, if they don’t receive the love they desire from someone else, they suffer.

It is the loss of what we hoped for, what we expected.

Some are able to let go of that and just let whatever happen, happen.

Within the groundlessness, however, we are able to find freedom. And the opportunity to love fully.

I’m far from there. I expect a lot. I crave holding steadfast to knowing what is coming next, to a certain degree.

Life has shifted a lot for me lately. Some what I would interpret as good, some what I would interpret as not so good.

I’ve been, what seems, completely groundless lately.

I don’t know what to expect when I wake up anymore. What news will come.

It’s important for me to keep in mind that it’s my interpretation of it that makes it so.

My uncle had a ‘minor’ heart attack today. He might interpret that as not so good. It was discovered that his arteries were pretty blocked and the Dr. was able to clear them all. My aunt considers the heart attack as ‘good’ because it led to more information that, left unnoticed, could have taken my uncle out for good.

It is what is. We put meaning to it.

My mother’s diagnosis

My new job

My children’s behaviors

My lover’s approach to my recent emotional breakdowns

My own response to all that is happening

All of it. Groundless. I am losing all expectations of what is.

Meditation is said to help us become ok with it. To find our center. To bring us back to something basic, like our own breathing.

I try that at night now. I don’t know if it’s working. I’m not very good at it. The finding my center part, not the breathing part.

This is the meaning behind the Tarot card, The Tower. We are shaken down to the foundation of who we are. All outer perceptions, expectations are shaken loose allowing us to see in a different, more freeing way. Perhaps, it’s meant to be a permanent shaking.

When I lived in Reno, we had a series of earthquakes. They were called a swarm. Every half an hour, an earthquake would come tumbling through. Just enough of a shake to stop us from what we were doing and wait for it to get bigger. Then it would rumble away and we would go on with life.

Eventually, we got used to them until a big one did come rumbling through. It was loud and jolting and destructive. After that big one, they stopped. Completely. I had become so used to them coming through that when they finally stopped, I would stop what I was doing every half hour and notice that we WEREN’T having one.

Groundlessness.

We never know.

 

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Jhanna

Jhanna

Introverted parent here. I love hanging out with you, but then you need to go away for a while. Avid mountain biker, spin instructor, trail runner, eater, sleeper. You get the idea.

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