"Every culture attaches great importance to their cultural holidays. I myself don’t attach any importance to holidays & birthdays per se. I find that it is all timings created and reinforced by ordinary people that ultimately has no tangibility.
But it is different for other people where they have a projected firm view that these days are very important so we go along with them to send them a message of love... thus special holidays can be a time to express love, appreciation, care & thanks.
Giving during these holidays is to help us break self absorption and miserliness. It gives us a chance to express how we feel with toward these people with tangibility."
This was Rinpoche's sharing today - it reminds me of how my own perceptions of special days would create my own suffering. My ex-husband never cared for so-called special days, like Valentines' days, birthdays etc, seeing them all as commercial. I remember being utterly distraught when he forgot our first year's wedding anniversary, and I had been planning for weeks on gifts and what to do for him... surreptitiously of course.
I was only 22 then, having gotten married at 21, and deeply 'romantic' - i say romantic in inverted commas because i think i had a pretty skewed view of romance. i.e it was pretty much hallmark romance i hankered after. I desperately wanted the fairytale and in that obsession, overlooked the kindness and care he had for me.
My obsession led me to wander from the safe comfort of my marriage - to seek for elusive 'romance' elsewhere.. I've literally 'been to Paradise, but I've never been to me'.
I then fell in love once with someone who quoted Shakespeare and e.e. cummings, who claimed to have a first edition of Peter Pan for my son. Who could sing like a lark. Who turned out not to have been entirely truthful with me. So much for romance.
Thank Buddha that I have found Dharma now... and to realise that i can never achieve the illusion my mind has been conjuring up for me since I can remember.
But there's still a gap between what the mind knows and the heart wants, and sometimes, just sometimes, when i hear a love ballad, on the radio, in a mall, and my heart aches and yearns.
So i take out my huge big ego hammer out and whack it over the head til there's no feelings left. That usually works.
Talk about self absorption! :)
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