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Mindful : August 2016
10 mindful August 2016 Barry Boyce Editor-in-Chief firstname.lastname@example.org Our must-read stor y this issue: “The Upside of Envy” digs into what makes us want what others have, and how that can teach us about ourselves. On page 58. Rushing to catch a plane, I lost my hat, a cherished hat, in an airport lounge. And now my hat is a file number in the Lost and Found system. And ever it shall remain. Maybe someone somewhere is wearing it. I hope so. I want them to enjoy it as much as I did. Once again I was confronted by the silliness of how upset I was by losing some little possession. It’s not a crime to love a hat. But it’s doubly annoying to lose a trifling thing and be annoyed by losing it. It’s like Russian nesting dolls of annoyance. When does it stop?Whyisitsohardtoletgoofthe smallest things? We seem so attuned to gaining and getting. We are more down with addition and multiplica- tion than subtraction, and division is worst of all. And yet life offers up as much loss, separation, and breakage as gain and triumph. We avoid it with a vengeance. Perhaps because it is so hard. Hello is easier than goodbye. And the big goodbyes are hardest of all. My sister’s son died suddenly recently. All death is untimely, some more than others, and it ripples widely; a lost son is a lost brother, nephew, cousin, partner, colleag ue, friend. At times of wrenching bro- ken-heartedness, mindfulness can be powerfully helpful. It’s not an artifi- cial device. It’s a very real anchor in a sea of turbulent emotions. When my nephew died, I called Frank Ostaseski for a few words of solace. Frank attended to dying AIDS We Are All Losers patients during the height of the crisis in San Francisco, and now as head of the Metta Institute he continues to work with the sick and dying, and those who care for them. Here’s a summation of what came out of our conversation: Grieving is a fundamental process of life. We do not choose it. It rather chooses us. It’s not a one-time event. It’s a road we must travel on. It doesn’t follow clock time. It adheres to deeper rhythms. Regrets are common, thoughts of incompletion and unfinished business, struggles unresolved. These are illusory, clingy thoughts, but you can’t wrestle them to the ground and stamp them out. As they emerge, you can see them, and let them go. And do that each time they come back to visit. Each of us has our light, what makes us loving and loveable. Each of us has our dark places, how we grapple with fear and pain—what can make us unbearable, at times even to ourselves. We have our griminess and our glory. But which are we, really? We are neither. We are not any of our parts. We are all of those parts. So, when you think of the loved one who has passed, embrace the whole person. That’s a natural kind of mindful- ness, where the very act of paying attention is the kindest thing to do, for others and for yourself. ● VOLUME FOUR, NUMBER 3, Mindful (ISSN 2169-5733, USPS 010-500) is published bimonthly for $29.95 per year USA, $39.95 Canada & $49.95 (US) international, by The Foundation for a Mindful Society, 228 Park Ave S #91043, New York, NY 10003-1502 USA. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Mindful, PO Box 469018, Escondido, CA 92046. Canada Post Publication Mail Agreement #42704514. CANADIAN POSTMASTER: Send undeliverable copies to Mindful, 1660 Hollis St, Suite 703, Halifax, NS B3J 1V7 CANADA. Printed in U.S.A . © 2016 Foundation for a Mindful Society. All rights reserved. PHOTOGRAPHBYMARVINMOORE point of view