Monday, October 24, 2011

10/25/11—Releasing Our Attachments

Today's Draw: Death from the Mythical Goddess Tarot—Kali. Have you ever thought of the people and things in your life as attachments? What attachments do you hold on to? Are they worth the loss of freedom that comes along with your attachment?

The Death card is usually about the death of one way of being and the birth of another. It's not as scary as you'd think. It could show up for divorce, birth, marriage, a job change, whatever. The old way of being is no more. And a new way of being takes its place. 

Anyone who knows Kali, though, knows that her kind of death is transformation on steroids. She is the total destroyer, leaving no evidence of previous forms in her path. But like any all-consuming, shrunken-head wearing Goddess of destruction, she's complex. There's a tender, gentle side to her that you don't always see right away. Well, not really, but hold that possibility for a moment. 

See, when Kali strips you of everything you once held value in, she gives you freedom in return. She challenges us to release attachments to the material, mundane things we think give life value. And sometimes she strips us of precious things—people and pets, for example—to challenge us further. You see, our freedom isn't dependent on any one thing. It's actually dependent on nothing at all. Because we can only be free when we have no attachments. And only when we're free of attachments can we see the truth. Our attachments will always cause us to see through a lens of illusion.

Freedom from attachments is key to both Hindu and Buddhist religions. If you've ever seen a Buddhist nun with her shaved head, that's what it's all about...freedom from attachment to worldly "needs". Letting go of the trappings of our worldly natures.

I have to admit I'm very attached to worldly things. I like to possess things. On the other hand, there are a lot of things I've let go of in my life without hanging on. So I'm probably pretty normal, all totaled. But thinking of those times when we were able to let go shows us just how unnecessary most of our trappings are. Think about it and give yourself the gift of seeing what an illusion most of our needs are.

OK, on that note, I'm now dying to share my favorite Buddhist joke. Why can't the Buddha vacuum underneath the sofa? Because he has no attachments. 

I like to think Kali would laugh at that one. :)

As a note for the geeks, the backs of these cards are spectacular. They're a mandala made from the female form with all the chakra points identified. That's not obvious at first, but if you look closely you'll see. All share a common crown chakra. You can see the backs here:

No comments:

Post a Comment