There are several sections in the Buddha’s Vinaya in regards to leaving the past behind. This week I took on the task of deleting more than 300 emails dating back 5 years. As I was deleting them I thought of all the friends and aquantances I once had that I wish I was still in touch with and all the ones I am glad to leave behind. All the work collegues I don’t have to deal with anyone, all the people who lied to me, used me, and abused me. All the ones I remember fondly and for some reason just sort of fell out of touch with. All the ones I wish I still was in contact with but they decided I was a waste of their time, and some recent emails from people I would rather not have contact me.
The Buddha said in one discourse, that I can’t recall the name of now that says when dealing with people we might not like there are, as I recall four steps. We should try to address our problems with them, try to come to some understanding, and try to make lemonade from the lemons of life. If all else fails we can forget and ignore those who we think wronged us, those who spat in our faces, or for some reason or other we just don’t get along with.
I recall earlier in life that ignoring and forgetting were important. Now that I think I’ve grown a bit in the practice I use some of the earlier techniques a bit more. We should always try to be present in the moment, but this particular week I did recall the past as I deleted those emails. Feelings of joy arose in me at times, thinking, thank goodness I never have to work with ….. such and such again, thank God I am no longer getting those spams…… and thoughts like that. What a strange such and such mr. bla bla is, she was an absolute luantic.
Yes indeed . We all have the practice as our refuge.
When someone asked the Buddha why the monks are so blissful and happy he said they neither grasp at the future, nor pine after the past. This week I enjoyed a little bliss over forgeting the past.
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