The darkness never felt so ominous in me as I drove away from my 18 year-old daughter 15 hours away from home. Now is change. Being now is freedom. That's not easy nor is it obvious. We usually don't pay attention to the change and that is where everything is happening, where reality exists.
We naturally cling to life as we know it. We have favorite foods and drinks. We feel secure and safe at home with our families. We just roll along with it and then we're shocked when things change. We think at times we're all set in life because we're feeling healthy or not too poor. We also believe at times we're doomed, never to be dug out of this hole. But it all changes in each moment constantly. No matter what. Using the Buddha eye one can see it is a choice to be fooled by the delusions of comfort and security or to finally give up to our victim identity. If we could practice being change then we fully feel awake and all things shine in their own light. When all things shine as True Nature there is no more clinging to them. No feeling of rejection or feelings of clinging. It all flows like a river. That is when we are also "suchness" or True Nature. Truth recognizes truth. Or so I thought and still think.
But Zen is about discovering the truth of now. What happens when I am lost in grief. Have I lost practice?
I imagine Mujo reminding me that our practice is about allowing. It's about fully feeling everything. "Just be grief," she might say or "just be anxiety." That is what I did, in the car, by myself for about 40 hours. I also felt nervous and I felt fear. It was all in my exhausted body.
My daughter and her friend drove in one car and I drove in the other. We drove overnight all the way through megalopolis to her first apartment. I live in the New Hampshire and she moved way down south.
On the road it was shocking to see the sheer amount of people, the millions of cars and the endless train of semi-trucks for hours and hours and hours. It all brought up raw emotions of fear and anxiety for my little baby girl.
I can vividly see that moment she opened her eyes still strung to her mom by the umbilical. That moment was other-worldly. During the night, I gladly received a text from a dear friend saying "exciting times ahead." That brought me down off the cliff of the abyss again for a moment. But, helpful as it was, even that is still a point of view.
We finally arrived to her new place. We unloaded the cars and carried the boxes of makeup, kitchen stuff, clothes and everything else that makes a home. Like everyones first apartment it was up the three flights of stairs. I took a nap but everything was like a dream-world at that point.
After my nap I got up and saw them arranging all their stuff. I sensed they were ready to begin their lives I had to get back on the road to plunge back through megalopolis to get home.
I felt resistance to saying goodbye despite all my plans to take my time. I was going to look deeply in her eyes and give her sage wisdom that arose in the true moment. I was so nervous and so sad and so exhausted. Our hug was awkward.
We said our goodbyes and "I love you" and I drove away.
Later she texted me that she felt so badly for not getting a good enough goodbye. Has there ever been one?