|Escaping the frame|
Being old is not necessarily a problem.It wasn't actually that striking, more like interesting in a quiet way. So I've been thinking about problems in general and aging in particular.
Aging, being old, is a fact, a condition created by a series of experiences, of changes. Problems themselves do not exist in reality. The word problem is abstract, a concept in my head tied up with a judgement that it is difficult and I don't like it. These thoughts made me remember Joan Halifax's story about when Issan was dying, and she was crying at his bedside. He said to her, "That isn't necessary, you know." He was a Zen master (so is she), so I thought seriously about that. Not necessary to be sorry your friend is dying? How about yourself - does your death have to be a problem? Is sickness necessarily a problem? Is pain?
Using the word problem is a way of framing a large issue. You could say the real problem is not aging, but that we resist its reality instead of flowing with it. It's like "difficult emotions" in that way.
|Framing a couple of issues|
It's funny how we welcome risk and surprise when we pay for it. People go to theme parks, travel uncomfortably on planes and go more uncomfortably through airports, which have become fun houses, delays popping up like monsters in the corner. We deliberately meet fear on roller coasters, we pay to be thrown around on those teacup rides. But when life throws us around, we hate it.
These thoughts must be growing out of my current interest in softening to difficult feelings (discussed a little in the previous post). My own "difficult" feelings arise when I don't like what's happening. Depression. Pain. People who don't do what they said they would (had to throw in something trivial).
I couldn't explain why, but this is making me visualize making a not-too complicated mandala. Reds for desire. Some black strokes for judgement. Here and there beautiful greens, restful lavender......What would be at its center? Maybe a nice peaceful white, or a blue sky with puffy high clouds passing over. Maybe some glitter.