She sits holding compassion in her wrinkled hands,
a joyful smile in her eyes,
and a profound serenity that flows
down her austere robes.
“I too was married once.”
I see her as a laywoman,
sitting on the hard ground
holding her husband’s dead body in her hands,
her distressed tears flowing from her eyes.
“I too was married once,”
this aged woman now sharing her story with me.
I look at her profound serenity,
despite all that she has been through.
She looks me in the heart,
with so much compassion,
she tells me in a matter-of-fact way,
“If you can see the ending of your relationships,
You will see that all relationships are suffering.”
My heart sees her joyful smile in her eyes,
and knows what she says is true.
To see clearly the ending in things,
the heart will have no desire
to cling to those things of the world.
Writer’s note: The above poem comes from a dream I had of a nun telling me of her past. I saw her holding her dead husband, wailing with such enormous suffering. The contrast of that image with her deep serenity as a nun, assured me that she had understood something profound within herself, so she can share this message with me. At the end of the dream, I didn’t feel any sadness from her, but a real joy that was wrapped in a sense of freedom and knowing of how things really are.
I had hesitated on sharing this dream with my readers, as some may consider it as very dark and pessimistic. However, there is an important message here that I think I should share. The message isn’t about getting rid of all your relationships or things, it is about experiencing the freedom that comes from truly understanding that things will change and come to their inevitable end. If we truly appreciate this, we can live life more essentially and meaningfully, in each ever-changing moment.