Who better to describe what this is than Keanu Reeves?
(hard to shake the Bill and Ted image of this guy, but
he really does a good job explaining)
I don't know what I am doing, so I am pretty sure I am doing it wrong. I don't feel sheltered and peaceful. The key is, of course, that even as you seek refuge in the sangha, you are still being mindful of the fact that this is mostly an interior process, and true refuge has little to do with outside forces.
Yeah, but I'm not Buddha, so I am pretty far away from achieving that understanding truly. I am good on the practice of getting away from attachment to material objects (not perfect, but working on it), and I totally get that life is suffering. The hard part is in actually dealing with the suffering. And I am doing a poor job. The last few days have been extraordinarily difficult. I can't begin to explain, which seems odd that I am writing this down but I have to get it out of my head and somewhere else because I am having violent, awful dreams and that isn't helping.
My father died seven years ago, and that was one kind of awful because he had cancer, he's my dad, and watching him suffer was difficult. I had the honor and privilege of spending his last day with him (we watched The Last Samurai, one of his favorite movies, but I muted the fighting scenes) and being with him when he died. I still miss him, but since it was a gradual process it was different. Painful immediately when he took his last breath.
Dane was alone when he died. I was a thousand miles away. He was 43. He left behind a daughter who adores him. Suddenly, we are without him. There is no refuge from this fact, no place we can go to get solace and comfort. Sicily and I are the only ones who really understand this feeling, and we are not doing a great job of helping each other. I am not doing a great job helping her or myself. Some days are better than others, but the reality is that there really is no refuge from this.
There is a stupid song whose name escapes me, but one of the quotes is, "If you're going through hell, keep on moving." I feel like we haven't even reached the part where we are going through hell. Every day is a new layer of awful, and eventually we will get to the point where we are in hell.
This is today's revelation. I am not a pretty sight.