2022-07-08 Grief (5 of 5) Liberating Grief
3:12PM Jul 8, 2022
We come to the last talk on grief, five part talk. And grief is a very human experience to be had. And, especially if we see it is the pain that comes from loss. And it's a pain of London with with loss, there's an absence, something is missing. And what do we fill that space that empty space with? And how complicated as a get for us. And one of the ways of practicing is to create the capacity to hold grief simply to stay in the empty space, without filling it with our judgments, our desires, our wishes, or fears. And keep it just really simple. And doing so is a way of I would like to say respecting our grief, not feeling that grief is wrong or bad or should be gotten rid of. But it's something to make space for, to allow for to breathe with. Now to do this well. It helps a lot, if we include as part of our mindfulness of grief, their relationship, we have to grief, there is grief on one hand, and then there's the attitudes we have towards the grief. And those attitudes sometimes can be more intense or more difficult in the grief itself. There can be attitudes that grieving is wrong. Or there can be attitudes that we need to grieve. We have to grieve, and we have to grieve. So that everyone can see us we have an obligation to grieve. There can be ideas that, you know, I should certainly should have grieved enough for I shouldn't be still grieving. There could be ideas that, you know, successful human life doesn't get doesn't experience, the intensity and the difficulties of grief. So these are all secondary ideas. Another secondary kind of relationship to grief is some people cling to grief, they hold on to it, some people out of a sense of loyalty to what they've lost or to the person who's died, that if they let go of the grief, that somehow betrayal or somehow that merely means that they're going to lose that person. And somehow their grief fills the vacuum that's too difficult to sit with by itself. And so to hold on to it all. And so with the practice of mindfulness, we learn to notice the attitude we have towards grief. And maybe not right away, maybe if it's an intense loss, maybe not the first day or two or week or some point. But at some point, we can ask ourselves, what is how do i What's my attitude was my belief about this grief? What relationship do I have towards it? And, and moving towards having a simpler and simpler relationship to it, where we're not adding layers of relatedness and judgments and ideas about the grief, and in a sense of liberating the grief from these imposition of these attitudes and relationships and needs and, and fears that we might have in relationship to grief itself. And as we begin to do this work, then we can be with the grief even is very intense, maybe with a simpler way. Maybe not in meditation. But maybe in a walk, maybe even walk with a friend may be journaling may be doing a ritual like we talked about yesterday. But to be there was simpler. And then what we start discovering, slowly, slowly, sometimes is that the grief is not a singular unitary thing. But it's made up of different emotions, different ideas, different beliefs, different memories, different aspirations. And we begin to begin to separate out
some of this, to see that some of some some of what's in the in grief itself is a an attitude, a second arrow towards what's happening. That part of grief for some people is anger. and the anger itself is, is a hostility towards something that's happening that we don't like. And to see it that way or attitude towards something allows us then to begin simplifying, and being present for the very thing that we're angry with, as opposed to staying angry with it from a distance. Or there might be fear that we might have be troubled or afraid of fear. And slowly, we begin to learn not to add the fear to the fear, just be afraid. The as we begin kind of being present and seeing the different elements of grief, we might see that, that you know that it isn't only maybe a person who died that we're feeling grief for, but they're grieving other aspects of that relationship. Some people grieve the loss of financial security when a breadwinner dies and is not unsure what's going to be. And that sense part of the grief is the uncertainty, the fear and of what's happening, the loss of a whole way of living. And it's not just the person but the way of living. It might be the relationships we have with other people, that the person who died is the hub before a set of relationships. And so the loss is much bigger than the loss of the person to begin teasing apart the different elements of it. And seeing that we've attitudes, we relate to it, we bring a certain kind of desires, wishes, fears, attachments to all these different component parts. And then slowly, kindly, caringly, compassionately, beginning exploring what is extra, what is not needed. And I like that I think of this process, as a process of liberation. Not that we're becoming free, but that we are liberating the grief. And, and in the middle of intense grief, and you might not have any might even might even be disrespectful to this idea that somehow we're not letting the grief be free. But slowly over time, we discover where in the grief were in relationship to the grief. We haven't given freedom to the grief, and get out gotten out of the way of it. Let it just be there and simple way. Or maybe not simple, but letting the good grief be there without the complexities of our attitudes, judgments, fears and attachments. And slowly begin letting go of this old anything that's extra with the grief. And sometimes grief can even be planned, pleasant, or satisfying, or, I don't know add a feeling of rightness to it. When we freed the grief enough. When there's enough when it's freed from ourselves in a certain way. This is a difficult task to do. Because, you know, we're the one who's grieving but we're also the one who's giving free freedom to the grief. And so not not identifying so fully with the grief that it's my grief, or I am the grief. And this takes time this takes practice this takes something that you know, is, is maybe not understood by people who don't have a mindfulness practice or don't have not well established in the capacity to be resting in awareness and as discovered how to have a capacity to hold the difficult states. And expanding that capacity rather than fixing things rather than criticizing things rather than running away. The movement of practices to keep opening, so we have greater and greater capacity to be with the challenges and the joys of life. And this increase capacity is directly connected to giving freedom to our experience giving freedom to the world giving freedom to our feelings, and maybe dropping the idea that you will be free but rather that you're the there'll be freedom given to all things.
They all things exists with a certain freedom from our clinging our anger or aversion, or confusion or delusion, our bias than our projections. May we learn to live giving a generous attention kind attention To each and everything, including our grief. So I hope that this discussion about grief and the last few weeks I've been teaching about emotions and anger gives you a sense of how to practice with emotions and challenges. And I think we'll continue somehow with this theme of emotions and things connected to emotions, as a way of, you know, next week and so forth. I think it's a rich area of life and hopefully you find it beneficial and interesting to see the application of mindfulness and practice to this very personally, areas of emotions and our inner life. So thank you very much.