A lot of love to Chance
At the monastery, I fell in love with a fluffy white and black cat that wandered onto the property. She was so beautiful. I remember that I took especially good care of her. I used to spend hours pulling the Velcro-like Burdock burrs that got stuck in her long fur when she came to visit my hermitage.
The monastery eventually decided that she was better off being cared for by someone else in the neighborhood. That meant I would never see her again. When I heard the news, I became quite sad. The day she was picked up by her new owners and gone for good was one of the hardest days in my training.
That night, I sat in meditation with tears streaming down my cheeks and asked a question, “How do you let go of someone you love?”
The answer that appeared was, “Love everyone.”
I’ll never forget the magnitude of that response. My heart opened beyond its broken capacity to include all of those around me so that it was impossible to experience loss.
This insight arose for me again today as my Colorado family and I took Chance, our 13-year old Golden Retriever, to the vet to be put down for his final rest.
It was a very hard week of seeing him extremely ill and especially hard to say goodbye to him this morning.
So I’m sending a lot of love to Chance, and in honor of him — to everyone too.
I love you.
This is a chapter from my book, The Zen Life: Spiritual Training for Modern Times.