In my quest to chill myself out, I'm reading Awakening the Buddhist Heart by Lama Surya Das. I haven't even finished the first chapter-- I'm a bit of a slow non-fiction reader-- but I found this interesting tidbit you probably already knew:
"According to Tibetan Buddhism we have each had so many births that in all probability our paths have crossed time and time again. Wondrously connected to one another, we have been for each other brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, children, fathers, mothers, and mates . . . each person we meet has at one time been a close, caring family member and should be treated with the respect and love such a relationship deserves."
So, who do you think we were to each other in our past lives? I don't know, but I like the idea that whoever you are, reading my blog, we are not strangers. Man, this idea could really help to cure the road rage epidemic, among other epidemics.
Here's another thing: Before I picked up this book, I'd been thinking about the ways some of my new relationships out here in The Woods mirror friendships I have (or had) in California-- almost as if the issues I didn't resolve with myself, or with others, in that past life are finding another way to surface. Of course, I don't seem to have much say in the matter, so in true Buddhist fashion I'm trying to be ok with that.
So maybe that's how it works for everyone? Not only do we have chance after chance to untangle our knots during this lifetime, but in all of our following lifetimes as well.
I'm not sure, though, if that makes me feel more motivated or just a little lazy.