Mark Shefsiek stashed this in The happy Yogi(for now)
This picture is the wheel of life. I don't want to write a memoir because for one it does not matter or help much and secondly it feels like gossip to talk about people from past. So I am only going to highlight the last five years.
Five years ago I was married to a woman who I had been with for 14 years. Despite the dysfunctions I loved her and her family and felt a part of it. I was deeply committed to them. I also, after years of struggle, had a great private practice in an integrated medicine department at major hospital. When I turned 40 in January 2009, the whole thing unraveled.
On Feb 14, I couldn't take the latest insult and ended my marriage. I have not seen or talked to anyone in my ex family since then and Pittsburgh is a very small town. It really is quite incredible.
Within the month, I found out my mother had terminal recurrent cancer and then my sister recurrent breast cancer (she is ok).
My finances didn't survive a divorce and they hired the most expensive lawyer in town. So the house was gone but lingering debt stayed.
I had practiced meditation and Buddhism since a teenager but never found the right teachers/friends. About a month later I started to meet my family of Tibetan masters.
My first response in all of this was that if the universe was going to destroy all my attachments then I was going to a monastery and renounce normal life. Even though my mother would have understood, I decided I could not leave in her final years.
Shortly there after, I fell in love with Carrie. It was crazy at the time and a low probability event but we are great partners, remarried and live with our son Adam 2 1/2 and his half-sister Margot 5 1/2. A third is due next year.
I have been given these precious gifts but the scars and pain obstruct my mind and keep me from completely realizing our lives.
My motivation is to be completely joyous about the new lives not saddened by the past.
Our job as lay yogis with children is to do our best to end the cycle for them and show them the way. Life was too hard for me and much worse for a billion other children. Our children, while they have their own karma, have a unique chance at happiness and should be free of my karma.
We say we practice for the next life. While I know I practice for MY next life, children are our next lives before we die and are reborn. We also practice for our past lives and especially for our mothers.
I'm trying to understand the concept of practicing for our past lives.
But I do really like this thought: "Children are our next lives before we die and are reborn."
The best work on this is a documentary called My Reincarnation.
The reason it is the best is because it is not conceptual. It is the life of a father and son. I know this is not the dominant paradigm and even most that "believe" in the cycle of death and rebirth do not have clear experience. Without spoilers the son Yeshi tries to deny his visions and path. At one point he gains great insight on his misinterpretation of past and future. It forever changed his life.
When I teach I always try to give analogies of present life to explain past. We generally don't remember our births but no one denies they were born. We asked our son
Do you remember being in mom's tummy?
Yeah, it was warm and yellow and NICE.
I believe him; I wish others believed those that remember. A few believe my experience but they are rare and my dearest friends. You cannot be a friend or help any one if you deny their experience. You cannot be a friend to yourself if you deny your own experience. Not remembering is a form of denial. You won't remember everything, you forgot most of yesterday, but what would this life be if you forgot your name?
In your next life I hope you remember your name Ifindkarma and you understand karma and that the truth of karma is a dominant experience.