When my children were little, they dreaded going to the doctor’s, especially when they knew they would be getting a shot. Maybe some of us adults still fear it? But always, that pre-suffering suffering far eclipsed that instant prick on the arm! And yet, how captivating (how apt a term) it is to imagine what the pain will be like.
Just think of the way the news is broadcast to us in a daily dose of “what if’s”. There is excitement in fear, energy stirred up in projected visions of doom – after all, that what sells the news. That’s what sells the tickets to the Big Top Show of not knowing. So what’s the difference between the dread of not knowing, and the awakened grace of not knowing? Should we simply disregard our concern for the future?
Of course we do need to prepare, in a practical sense. We need to consider the effects our actions have on the planet so that we can heal its wounds. We might well consider the possible repercussions of a political leader’s bad speech so that we do not become infected by it. But we also need to distinguish between when our minds get held “captive” by the hook of fear as opposed to a spacious wonder at the wild ride that is unfolding before our very eyes.
May we always, all of us together, be the ride and the life of the dharma.