There is a part of the Morning Bell Chant that chokes me up every time I chant it. Dae Ja Dea Bi A dung Do Sa. It translates as Great Love, Great Compassion - Our Original Teacher. It has also been translated as Great Love, Great Sadness, Great Compassion - Our Original Teacher. This translation was first given to me as I was leaving practice about to face my biggest fear. The person who told me this also said that I had this in me, that all I had to do was find it and hold on to it and that IT would get me through. I was thinking of this today as I sat on my cushion.
The last 6 years of my life have really
sucked not been easy. Actually my whole life has been somewhat of a struggle. I have lived in an dysfunctional home, I have lived as a child without much love, I have buried my own child - the list could go on and on. But I can honestly sit here today and tell you all the wonderful things that have come from each one of these. I won't, that could take forever, but there are things from each one. I have learned so many things about life through these hardships. But when you are in the thick of it...
Right now I am in another difficult season of life. My youngest is sick which complicates just about everything. The worry, the heartache, the fear that comes along with it is all to familiar. It has been devastating, depressing, lonely and hard all at the same time. I can't tell you one thing that is going to come of this that is going to be wonderful.
But, in the meantime, I have been blessed with a relationship that I thought I might not ever have. Its been one of friendship, love, compassion, respect and understanding. This person has taken me under her wing, taught me, loved me, cried with and for me, been happy with and for me. I have often wondered why this person loves me so much, why she has been a mentor to me, a companion, a friend, a shoulder to cry on, a (dare I say it) a "mother". Then it came to me - the love, the compassion that she has for me has come from the great sadness she has endured in her life. She has experienced the same hardships, the same lovelesness, the same pain, fear and heartache. She allowed those things to be her teacher. She learned, probably without even knowing it at the time, how to take those experiences and turn them into compassion for someone with the same pain. She has been able to give me the love, the support, the friendship, the hugs and sweet words that she wished (I think) that she would have had. This relationship has been a true blessing and every day I am grateful for it.
So maybe, just maybe, in 6 years I will be sitting here typing about all the wonderful things that have come from my baby being sick. Maybe I will have learned from them and allowed them to turn into compassion. Maybe I will be able to take what I learned and give it to as comfort to someone else like this person has done so lovingly to me. Maybe, just maybe, this hardship will be my teacher. Dae Ja Dae Bi A Dung Do Sa!