Writings

Dhammalogue no. 16


In todays Dhammalogue we will talk about birthdays and aging.
Dhammalogue no. 16

Jenny: You just had your 38th birthday, one year older, one year wiser, one year more that adds weight. Birthdays are often times when we, especially as we mature, have a look back at the years that are behind us and sometimes draw new conclusions, set new goals and perhaps reinvestigate old assumptions. Were any of these reflections in your mind on your birthday?

Igor: Yes, it's silly, it's just one more day but we do do that. So far, when people asked on birthdays I'd just say I felt no different but that's not true for this year. I feel older. I can still do all the stuff that I always did, you know I love to run, surf, play with Iomi, do yoga, and love to work with my body. But I do feel more tired afterwards, need longer time to renew the energy I spent. Also there is new sadness in my life. Aging, illness, death and all the rest of major suffering ingredients can only remain as theoretical ideas in your youth, if you are lucky, but after crossing a certain age, no amount of luck is enough, you are going to face the music, soon. That is what makes us 'conservative', we want to conserve what we have been, what we have had, from our 8 year old daughter's sweetness to the strength and youth in our bodies. Sadly that cannot be done, there is nothing for us to conserve, since we never did have anything, every experience is borrowed, loaned. So I am trying to resist that urge and instead face the trail of sadness that life inevitably leaves behind as it passes. So, I feel blessed for all that I'm getting to borrow from life and similtaneously saddened by the realization that the loan is so short. Happy and sad at the same time if that makes sense.

J: Does this realization in any way make you look differently at and possibly amend your basic life strategies, when it comes to health, relationships big and small, the activities you engage in...?

I: Sure I want to change and be better, who doesn't? We all have this chronic longing for living up to our full potential, before it's 'too late'. Be kinder, be wiser, meditate more, eat better, be healthier, love you better, have more money? I'll sign on to all of them. But they all fade in comparison to the process of understanding who I am and what life means. So the 'realization' that I am having would be that in order to not lose sight of this fundamental purpose for human life, while simultaneously enjoying and appreciating the journey to its fullest, and viceversa, one needs to sit in a precaroius balance, for which extreme awareness is required. This is in fact the same precarious balance we sit in when we meditate. So I guess of all the items of the list above, i'd chose to meditate a little more in the coming future. That is always a good thing.

J: I will certainly join you in that endeavour. Now let's go outside and enjoy a splendid sunny day where your only must is surfing and mine to make chocolateballs with Iomi and her friend.

I: Let's!

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