Friday, August 20, 2010

21 Heart Lessons From The (Supposedly) Mindless Ones

Ron, Alice, Jane, the Chinese opera singer, and of course my mother, have done more to open my heart than hours of sitting meditation and listening to Dharma talks. This post is my way of paying tribute to them, my elder friends, whose minds are increasingly escaping them, as dementia makes further inroads into their brains. Here is what I learned from them so far:
  1. Go with the flow, and drop all expectations of how things should be.
  2. Living in the present is a beautiful thing.
  3. Dropping memories from the past takes care of grudges and resentments; every new moment gives one the chance to start fresh.
  4. Worries about the future are a product of overly thinking mind; let go of thoughts and peace ensues.
  5. Our usual idea of the self is an illusion that goes away once thoughts disappear.
  6. More letting go, more opportunity to practice and become wise.
  7. True love is about accepting the one as he or she is, not what I want him or her to be.
  8. Where does attachment to thinking mind comes from? 
  9. Beyond words, beyond thoughts, lies the beauty of heart to heart connection.
  10. Heart connections can transcend explicit memory, and seep down to deeper level of implicit memory.
  11. Raw suffering has a way of finding its way to otherwise closed heart, cracking it open enough for love to rush in.
  12. Empathy, love, compassion, patience fill up one's heart with goodness; and that's a good feeling.
  13. Mindfulness of heart, body and mind, opens doors to self and other one's reality.
  14. Caring heart endures even when thinking mind has long quit.
  15. Without the perfect facade of thinking mind, the only option left is complete authenticity. 
  16. Giving other a chance to still care for me is a gift to him or her.
  17. Appreciation only costs a few words, yet causes so much joy in the other one's heart.
  18. Sustained mindfulness and kindness require hard work; lapses are to be expected, this is where loving kindness comes into play.
  19. Judgments, opinions, expectations, are all products of small mind; they need to dissolve under the lens of mindfulness.
  20. Behind each word, each action, each thought, there is logic; that I don't always understand is no reason to dismiss or judge unfavorably the other one's behavior.
  21. Who is being served? we both are . . . by each other.
Related posts:
Stepping Into Ron's Shoes
Sitting With Alice
Letting The Heart Open Wide
Dancing With Jane
The Gift Of Mind
Beyond Words
The Power Of Connection
Her Last Gift
The Gift And Curse Of Memory


  1. Thank you, and deep bow to you also! Thinking about you, and your family, and sending much metta your way. :)

  2. Magnificent. Thank you M.:-)


  3. D, I am glad you appreciated this post. Does anyone in your family suffer from Alzheimer's?

  4. sometimes I wonder how they came up with definition of Alzheimer...and why its just thought of old age ..I think any time when a person looses touch with reality, and is unable to connect past with present and future....its some form of Alzheimers..this can happen in anger, rage or under the influence of ego, grandiosity..or simply with mind altering drugs.This can be considered temporary Alzheimer state...since we are able to connect to reality..but some are locked in their minds for ever,irrespective of chronicle age...that is why the earlir we develope conscious MINDFULNESS ..the more we are able to appreaciate and enjoy life