Feast for Three

Cooper Birthday 12; KMHuberImageThanksgiving of 2012 I was mostly vegetarian, mostly Buddhist, completely wary of my every decision. Mostly was my middle ground I told myself but mostly is milquetoast, no matter where on the path.

If I could not see beyond the point of my own nose, a beagle named Cooper could. He was not fazed by my timidity, and to prove it, he gave me all the patience he had, often disguised as curiosity.

Dogs love unconditionally, and sometimes, we are fortunate enough to have a dog fall in love with us, which is to say we fall as well. I did, he did, and for two years, we were.

Regular readers may remember some of our moments. I often do but every Thanksgiving since 2012, I take a moment to be grateful for Cooper.

Maybe what I remember most is the angst of being almost vegetarian, unable to understand the obstacle is the path, and I was on it.

I meditated about buying a turkey. Can you imagine? Me, either. Groundlessness–impermanence–was new to me but through Cooper, I opened to change.

It is a heady combination: canine love, meditation, and yoga. It becomes a practice, a path of one obstacle after another. Some more easily resolved, like purchasing a turkey for Thanksgiving.

It was not about me–never had been–it was about Cooper. Love can blind that way–I’m grateful every time it does–each moment comes only once. It was Cooper’s last Thanksgiving, and we made a day of it.

Feline EmmaRose was just as delighted with turkey. I remembered that for her remaining years with me, our years together without Cooper.

I have not forgotten our feast for three nor have I set such a banquet again. Its heady aroma returns every Thanksgiving for love never leaves.

2012 was yet another year that some believed the world would end, as if existence is a day on a calendar. One day or forever. How are they any different.

Thursday Tidbits: Unconditionally Easy

Welcome to Thursday Tidbits, choice bits of information that celebrate our oneness with one another through our unique perspectives. It is how we connect, and it is how we have always connected but in the 21st century, the connection is immediate.

It occurs to me that in exploring peace I am also exploring unconditional love, whose existence we freely acknowledge in animals but when it comes to humans, we grow very quiet very quickly.

Yet, what if the connection between peace and unconditional love lies in the law of detachment, like a bridge between the two? 

Deepak Chopra describes the law of detachment in The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success as: 

“In detachment lies the wisdom of uncertainty… In the wisdom of uncertainty lies the freedom from our past, from the known, which is the prison of past conditioning. 

“And in our willingness to step into the unknown, the field of all possibilities, we surrender ourselves to the creative mind that orchestrates the dance of the universe.” 

Therein, lies the rub, trusting in the wisdom of uncertainty, free from the conditions of our past or what Pema Chödrön calls “The Dream of Constant Okayness.” 

“It’s not impermanence per se, or even knowing we’re going to die, that is the cause of our suffering, the Buddha taught. Rather, it’s our resistance to the fundamental uncertainty of our situation. Our discomfort arises from all of our efforts to put ground under our feet, to realize our dream of constant okayness. 

“When we resist change, it’s called suffering. But when we can completely let go and not struggle against it, when we can embrace the groundlessness of our situation and relax into its dynamic quality, that’s called enlightenment, or awakening to our true nature, to our fundamental goodness. 

“Another word for that is freedom—freedom from struggling against the fundamental ambiguity of being human” (Heart Advice, Weekly Quotes from Pema Chödrön) 

And finally, from the Mundaka Upanishad:  

“Like two golden birds perched on the selfsame tree, intimate friends, the ego and the Self dwell in the same body. The former eats the sweet and sour fruits of the tree of life, while the latter looks on in detachment.” 

These are favorite quotes of mine that I read so frequently I can recite parts of them from memory, which is not to say that I live them, only that my memory is in constant retrieval mode. However, there are moments I visit Michael Singer’s “Seat of Self,” where I am aware of the world coming through my humanness but alas, I do not yet sit for long.

How about you? Are you familiar with the golden birds of the Mundaka Upanishad? Do you struggle with the inherent ambiguity of “constant okayness”? Is there wisdom or freedom in uncertainty? Are humans capable of unconditional love?

If questions are not what you seek, then here is a north Florida treasure, Hot Tamale, singing “Easy,” a song for all of us wherever we are in our awareness.