Gary's video about his artist's cup reminded me of the documentary I watched last Monday on Netflix. "THE BUDDHA The Story of Siddhartha" (2010 by Director David Grubin) I have read the book, "Siddhartha" by Hermann Hesse several times during my life. The book belonged to my mother and it was one of her favorites. The film depicts the life of Buddha and his experiences while trying to discover why there is suffering in this life. The film is beautifully and artfully documented and quotes are given throughout by different religious scholars and such. Truthfully, as the story goes, we will all eventually lose everything and everyone that we love. We will eventually all become ill and we will eventually all die. Nothing lasts forever, it's true. I believe that the sooner we come to this realization, the happier we become.
Five years ago, I gave away or sold just about everything I owned. I let go of my house, my pottery (wheel, kiln, supplies, books) and just about everything else that was not replaceable. I downsized because I was about to begin a new journey in life. I was going to work six months and travel six months. I couldn't carry all my "stuff" around the world with me, so it all had to go. Well as it happens in life so frequently, things changed. My place of employment was taken over by new management and this changed everything---all my plans were shattered in a five minute phone call. I was devastated. I had given up everything! All for nothing, I thought, at least at the time. I was unable to be happy until I began to embrace what had happened and go with the flow. I found that "Letting go" is really the only form of freedom we have and we don't always have control or power over what happens to us. This can be a tough lesson to learn but easier if you realize that * "the glass is already broken". I soon realized that letting go of material things was really easy, in fact, very liberating! I felt light in my heart and on my feet. The simple truth is once you let go of "stuff", you get even more "stuff" in return, it's just "different stuff". You would be surprised at how quickly you accumulate "stuff". Who wants to look at the same stuff all of their life anyway? A bit boring, eh? Well, my dreams of traveling the world haven't happened yet, but I will never give up. I think that is why I love, "The Traveling Painting" so much. At least I can travel vicariously through that project for now. So what I have learned from my situation and what both the film and the book teach is truly, "Nothing lasts forever and it's the journey, not the destination that counts."
*One of my favorite quotes from the film is, "The glass is already broken." so people, enjoy that glass (or "cup" as it may be), now while you are able. Read the book, "Siddhartha" by Hermann Hesse and see the PBS documentary, "THE BUDDHA The Story of Siddhartha" and remember, it is not what happens to you, but how you react to what happens to you, that counts.