Samvega

Journal
October 2, 2007 – October 3, 2007 Be not ashamed, woman you are the gates of the body, and you are the gates of the soul. Walt Whitman


I am trying to exercise so my mind will quiet down and I will be able to paintP1030482
My mind is not quieting down and my body is screaming at me. Aches and pains all over the place. So today I am giving my body a rest and journaling and reading.
I entered my room to make my bed and realized that even my dogs have decided today is a day for rest. I had to laugh because it took me a moment to realize that two dogs were buried amongst the sheets, blankets and pillows. To be a dog in this house is a very good thing.
P1030486
 While reading I stumbled upon the word or Buddha term Samvega. I found the following translation of the word.
Samvega was what the young Prince Siddhartha felt on his first exposure to aging, illness, and death. It's a hard word to translate because it covers such a complex range — at least three clusters of feelings at once: the oppressive sense of shock, dismay, and alienation that come with realizing the futility and meaninglessness of life as it's normally lived; a chastening sense of our own complacency and foolishness in having let ourselves live so blindly; and an anxious sense of urgency in trying to find a way out of the meaningless cycle. This is a cluster of feelings we've all experienced at one time or another in the process of growing up, but I don't know of a single English term that adequately covers all three. It would be useful to have such a term, and maybe that's reason enough for simply adopting the word samvega into our language………
For people whose sense of samvega is so strong that they want to abandon any social ties that prevent them from following the path to the end of suffering, Buddhism offers both a long-proven body of wisdom for them to draw from, as well as a safety net: the monastic sangha, an institution that enables them to leave lay society without having to waste time worrying about basic survival. For those who can't leave their social ties, Buddhist teaching offers a way to live in the world without being overcome by the world, following a life of generosity, virtue, and meditation to strengthen the noble qualities of the mind that will lead to the end of suffering.
Thanissaro Bhikkhu 
When reading this I began to think that so much of mid-life depression is normal and some people have a stronger sense of samvega than others. Maybe anti-depressents are not always the correct choice to "fix" a patient. Maybe by the use of these drugs causes some patients more anguish and confusion then healing. I am not sure that to numb a person is a way to help end his or her suffering. But would it not be better if this person could use his/her feelings to once again see the beauty and colors in day to day life.
Best tree pic
 
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2 Responses to Samvega

  1. joan says:

    Some words of wisdom are just what one may need to help shake their feelings of samvega.
    And yes, walking in a state of generosity and compassion most assuredly helps!
    xoxo

  2. joan says:

    Oh!
    And that bottom photo is gorgeous indeed 🙂
    xo

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