Patrick Gaffney’s voice, velvet, soothing, guides me from my iPod.
I picture my teacher above me, golden and glowing, infusing me with his equanimity and his universal love.
I picture my mother-in-law on my right-hand side in her most annoying glory. She’s telling me, for the 600th time, how some “jackass” insulted her in 1946 and she’s holding her autographed picture of George and Barbara Bush.
I picture my friend on my left. She’s spending her entire day off with me, coaching me and my horse at a horse show. We win second place!
Through my iPod, Patrick continues, “The label ‘friend’ and ‘enemy’ is just based on how the person affects my well-being. But is others’ well-being only significant inasmuch as it supports our happiness?”
Out loud, “Hell yes!”
I press the STOP button.
Okay, I guess that was a rhetorical question.
I remember when my husband and I were building a house. He wanted me to pick the exterior color. He showed his mother my swatches. She told him, “She’s going to RUIN that beautiful house!” He told me that she suggested gray or blue. I told him I thought gray was depressing and blue was boring. I won that round.
My mother-in-law and I always argued through my husband. I wish I could take back the continuous heartbreak I caused by making him the battlefield between his mother and me, the two people he loved most dearly.
I wish I could have seen myself clearly back then. I always thought I was right. I was a jackass. My mother-in-law was right, gray or blue would have been more appropriate for a house by the lake than the redwood color I picked.
I wish I knew things were impermanent back then. My husband and I never got to live in the house. He died of cancer the next year.
I press the PLAY button.
Guided meditation excerpt from: “Guided Meditation on Immeasurable Equanimity,” Track 36 from “Arousing Bodhichitta, The Heart of the Enlightened Mind: The Bodhichitta Mengak Study Pack,” published by Rigpa.