Gain and loss

Monty Wener
Monty Wener

My family cat is ill. He’s 15 and a Burmese blue. Like a lot of family pets, my family think he’s pretty special and at times, a little monster.

My mum and dad went away last weekend and asked if I’d pop by to give him a tablet. Monty and I spent time sitting on a bench in the garden: me feeling the warm glow of the March sun on my face, him sprawled out over the wooden slats basking.

As I stroked him, his fur wasn’t as sleek as it used to be and my palm felt each and every one of his more noticeable vertebrae. He’s lost weight. I cradled him in my arms and he felt limp and lifeless.

He’s not going to get any better and it’s now just a case of us deciding when we’re ready to let him go.

‘Let him go’

I know we’re clinging onto him. I’ve been listening to Martin Aylward’s dharma talks recently and he says about this ‘clinging’. We hold onto things, views and experiences and because of this, we never really taste freedom. We’re tied.

It’s only when we let go of our stuff that we can be more open and more fluid in the way that we approach life. Perhaps we need to think less about ‘letting go’ and more about ‘letting be’ and cultivating acceptance.

The worldy winds

Martin also talks about opposites and this resonates particularly.  These opposites are called the ‘worldly winds’ and they buffet us and all our experiences:

Success and failure

Pleasure and pain

Praise and blame

Gain and loss.

We all fear loss. I don’t want to lose Monty. He’s a little member of the Wener family. I’d much rather have only ‘gain’ in my life but it doesn’t work like that.

Martin says that we live our lives thinking that we should only have the positives but we have to know both. We have to experience the negatives in order to know how great the positive feels. Life really is about balance.

I’ve met someone recently and I think he’s pretty special. In this sense, I’ve gained a lot. It’s Bliss.

Find out more about Martin Aylward.