Friday, August 19, 2011
Gladiolas--Pleasant or Unpleasant?
My friend, Gladys, doesn't like gladiolas because they remind her of funerals.
I can understand that funerals give rise to an unpleasant feeling.
But look, really LOOK at a gladiolus. Look at the flowers. Look at the stalk of flowers. Using bare attention, devoid of opinion or judgment, note what you see.
As the Buddha says, "In the seen, there is only the seen."
The beautiful flower is really quite pleasant to look at.
We often develop little "allergic" reactions, not only to gladiolas, but also to our own emotions. Feeling fear, anger, or sadness "feels" unpleasant, and we develop strategies to avoid the unpleasant feel of these emotions.
Mindfulness enables us to simply "be with" what is. A simple flower. Pleasant. A simple emotion. Unpleasant.
Then the moment passes, and no trace remains. We don't have to cling on to the pleasant or the unpleasant. That moment really is gone. There's no need to replay it in our memory. There's no need to find the unpleasant feeling unpleasant, and thereby engender suffering for ourselves.
Just watch the flow. Pleasant. Unpleasant. Neutral.
Really. That's all. Pleasant. Unpleasant.
Sit back and enjoy the ride.