Missing Another

Master Jingzong; English translation by Foying, edited by Jingxing

We may think that our memories of people will eventually fade. But as it turns out, the feeling of missing another only grows stronger with time, although subtly.

I often remember my parents who passed away many years ago; my siblings, friends, schoolmates, former colleagues; Venerable Master Huijing, disciples, fellow Dharma friends (both intimates and acquaintances), those near and far, and those that I like and dislike.

Of course, we will meet people in life who aren’t very nice. But they, too, are part of our life story, and we should not erase them from our minds. Without such persons, our lives might feel incomplete, even boring!

The feeling of missing another can sometimes be felt so deeply it is difficult to express. We can certainly express our sentiments to the living, but how do we express our feelings of longing to the deceased? With living persons, we can use expressions of sentiment that are pleasing to the senses; but what are we to do with an incorporeal spirit?

Phone calls, emails, greeting cards and salutations may not compare with the raw and heartfelt experience of deeply missing another. Besides, such means of communication only add to the noise of the world. Sometimes, the more profound a thing is, the more it should be hidden: the roots of celery would be tasteless if exposed to the air, and the image on a film negative would vanish if exposed to the light.

Sometimes, it is better not to express our feelings of missing another. Of course, we would like to convey our sentiments to those we miss, but it may be enough just to feel our longing. This is actually a deep way of caring for ourselves.

Namo Amitabha Buddha.

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