Several weeks ago I wrote a few posts about Buddhist’s Worldly Winds and Equanimity.
Courtesy of my friend Rob who passed on Richard Rohr’s discussion of the Four Stages of Life in Hinduism.
“Hinduism teaches there are four major stages of life: 1- the student, 2- the householder, 3- the forest dweller (the “retiree” from business as usual), and 4- the wise or fully enlightened person “who is not overly attached to anything and is detached from everything” and thus ready for death. RR continues, “Western cultures tend to recognize and honor the first two stages at best… The first half of life is about building a strong container; the second half is about discovering the contents the container was meant to hold. Yet far too often, solidifying one’s personal container becomes a substitute for finding the contents themselves! The second half of life — represented by the forest dweller and the wise, enlightened person — moves the willing individual beyond the basic needs for separateness, status, and security to an awareness of their eternal, unchangeable identity as one with others and with God. Your concern becomes not so much to have what you love, but to love what you have. In the second part of life you have a great sense of freedom, no longer attached to outcomes but intimately involved in the process and relationships. You can trust that all will be well because all is held together by Love and Divine Presence.”
I am drawn to the concept of moving beyond needs of status and security, and the freedom that comes from “loving what we have” especially relationships with family and our neighbors.
Consider over the weekend where are you in the four stages of life, and whether you want to move beyond need for status and security.
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