Where do you find satisfaction in life? In material things? In your relationship/ children/ family? If there is something that I love about my mom it is her ability to say without pleasantries, how the things are. In Buddhist teaching, they say that those closest to you act as your mirror. In practice, it means that they show you what you don’t want to see. In my case, my mom has never nourished my “poor me” feelings. There is no point in complaining to her. When you are finished, she will tell you that you should meditate more often to see that your problem is not real. We live in Samsara, thus we suffer. It is tough love.
As much as I did not like this approach when I was younger, now I appreciate it. Why am I talking about it? After another one of my whining sessions, she advised me to watch “My Reincarnation”. A documentary about Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, Tibethan Buddhist Master of Dzogchen and his son.
Did I wanted to see some film at that moment? No. I wanted her to feel sorry for me. I did not succeed. My mom kept asking me every day whether I watched the movie. So one day, when I stopped being angry with her for not understand me, I watched it.
It is a beautiful movie that made me realize how much I distanced myself from the education that my parents gave me. My mom thinks that I am wasting my time not to follow what they installed in me. And that is a daily meditation practice.
I remember learning how to meditate when I was at elementary school. When I was at University, I started travelling around Europe to different meditation retreats. I practiced Buddhist meditation most of my life and stopped after silent retreat in India. Why? I found it difficult to unite my daily work life and meditation practice. I felt that if I can’t live in some remote Himalayan monastery, I can’t really follow what I believed. And let’s be honest, living normal life with all its glitters seemed much more exciting.
Lately I started to feel that there was something missing in my life. From outside, one can think that I have it all- a healthy daughter, an amazing husband and a job that sounds great. But as they say in the documentary, if you have a goat, you have goat problems. If you have money, you have money problems. No matter what your material situation is, you will keep having problems unless you stop being attached to it. Finding long-term satisfaction in external things is not possible.
This documentary was something long due. In light of recent hoo-ha around Pokémon Go I realized that our society prefers losing itself in virtual world instead of bettering itself. And it is very sad.
Photos by Surekha Yeshwanth.