Me, My Friends and Impermanence
September 20, 2008
I am shortly coming towards the end of a period in my life, in which I have been involved with a small group of people. Several of us have become incredibly close and formed solid friendships. We have been through a lot over the past few years together and I believe that each of us feel that we have shared each others ups and downs throughout. I started to think about the situation I have been in with these friends and contemplate how different things will be over the next few weeks and beyond.
I have to say I was quite shocked at my acceptance of the group situation coming to an end and the fact that my friends and I will not be spending the same time together and will be going our separate ways and pursuing very different things. It really is a revelation for me to feel like this and be accepting of the change. I remember having close friendships in the past and those feelings which arose when circumstances changed or friends and I drifted apart. It often felt like to lose a friend was the end of the world.
I have to point out that I don’t believe I will love or care for my friends any less (although I might be wrong) just because I am suggesting that I have an acceptance of the change approaching. One of my friends in the group is so sad and upset about the forthcoming changes, she really seems to be suffering and just wants things to remain as they are. I am not criticising my friend in the slightest but this highlights to me how the mind of attachment can cause real pain. I know that for myself without having spent quite a lot of time thinking about impermanence and the benefits of the resultant non – attachment that it brings, I would almost certainly be feeling the same. I really believe that having met with Kadampa Buddhism, given its emphasis upon meditation on death and impermanence, I can love and care for my friends without expecting anything in return (maybe), which is definitely much nicer than the previous friendships I have had.
Surely this is part of my equanimity training too?