We live overseas and return back to our countries of origin every few years. Much longer and we miss out on the lives of our families and friends. Much less and we miss out on the experiences available in our chosen new homes.
We found that returning back from overseas for a brief vacation can be an emotional rollercoaster ride. This is mainly because of the quick succession of experiences fitted into the short duration:
- Experiences: The experience of being back and being reminded of significant life events, some good and some bad.
- Traits: Seeing loved ones that are so dearly missed, but suddenly try spending intensive amount of time with them can bring out some of their not-so-missed traits.
- Judgements: The judgement from those same loved ones about what we should be buying, what relationship we should be in, and generally how we should be living our lives.
As with all experiences, it is just karma arising. There is no benefit from becoming overwhelmed by the experiences. Instead, these difficult experiences provide a wonderful opportunity to practice the teachings from Atisha and Serlingpa on ‘mind training’:
- Recognising these difficult experiences arise from our own past negative karma, we should reflect on the purification that we are performing by not responding with impatience and anger.
- Recognise that our responses are driven by our own self-cherishing, our ‘me first attitude’ that conflicts with our big ego that we are so protective about.
- Recognising that these difficult experiences do not inherently, intrinsically, independently exist. They exist but without the definite aspects that appear.
But first, we should consider the experiences, the traits, and the judgements and reflect on their merits:
- Experiences: Those experiences happened in our countries of origin but they are happened over a decade ago. We need to release our attachment to them in the past and move forward in our lives.
- Traits: The traits were there all along and we should not have one-sided-view of people, places, and experiences, including family, friends, and country of origin.
- Judgements: Maybe there is some truth to the judgements, maybe we do need to lose some weight.