On a lovely warm summer evening, post-Tai chi I sit with a small group of men drinking tea outdoors.
As the sun begins its slow descent, we sip tea poured from a thermos and discuss philosophy and religion. We discuss life!
I mainly listen.
The main theme is Buddhism.
It makes me think of everything that I learned from my former partner. My nearly Buddhist boyfriend.
When we first met, I was informed that he didn’t follow any religion or faith and in time I came to realize that although this was theoretically correct, this relationship would teach me everything I needed to learn about Buddhism and impermanence as well as surrendering.
The entire relationship was a lesson on mindfulness and letting painful emotions go. We attended retreats, workshops, insight meditations together. We enjoyed discussions and activities.
In theory, we knew everything we needed to make it work.
We were both trained to help others using tools of communication, negotiation, as well as mediation.
This didn’t matter. We were both raw and real and honest with everything except our pain.
We fought about God, religion, and family.
We fought about the dead family members who left us during our relationship.
We fought about blending and children.
We fought until we fought no more and then we were done.
Relationships can be our greatest teachers. They can also be a mirror to our pain and trigger and activate old stuff.
This relationship was poorly timed, I thought when I ended it.
I recall him saying “it’s been five years” over and over as if time could solidify our union.
Reflecting back this wasn’t the case.
Time moved forward and life and death followed.
We came together and fell apart.
The relationship was a gift and part of the journey.
If we hold on, what do we achieve?
We had come to the end of our road.
My partner taught me impermanence is a gift.
I learned the importance of accepting others for who they are and not holding on to ideal standards.
I developed greater compassion for myself and others.
To eliminate suffering I ended the relationship both for myself and my partner.
In surrendering, I was free from suffering and free to just be.
The gifts of Love, Joy, Equanimity are unending.
As I finish sipping my tea I come back to the group of men chatting and relaxing sitting on the grass in the park.
I sigh, and I say: “Buddhism is a way of living—a way of loving.”
I have appreciated the companionship and the warm night air. Tonight this moment is all that matters. I’m grateful for life and love.