All feelings remain present until fully felt. As human beings, if you are truly living fully and authentically with an open heart, grief is unavoidable. Listen to this episode and learn the importance and the art of grieving where you acknowledge your pain and your grief to help you come through the other side in a more expanded space, with more joy, bliss and fulfillment.
As human beings we are all vulnerable to loneliness, especially during periods of grief. We want to feel safe, protected, and not alone, yet a sense of loneliness is quite easy for us to access. We may feel alone in our bodies, in our homes, or alone in the world. So how do we find our way through loneliness?
In my work as a teacher and spirit translator, I came to realize that in order to move through my own loneliness, I had to acquire a deep understanding of the pain that other people go through. It might seem as though connecting with other people’s pain would intensify my own, but on the contrary, it helped me to release my loneliness. Through physical and emotional pain, I was able to understand the suffering of others, and that profound empathy tied us together. It granted me the safety and protection that I wanted. If you feel this way, you are not alone!
“Yesterday a child came out to wander…”
—Joni Mitchell, “Circle Game”
Last month, a friend I’ve known most of my life passed away after a recurrence of cancer. It was not entirely unexpected, but it happened suddenly and was deeply shocking. I thought she would always be there—an unspoken assumption many of us probably have about close friends or family. We never imagine that they won’t be in our lives. Yet she was gone. And even the most profound spiritual beliefs about life after death cannot entirely prevent the initial heart pain of losing someone you love.
Eastern religions do not have a tradition of "grief" as it is understood in the Western world. Nevertheless, many Eastern religions have practices that help people in their grieving process.
The process of grieving is similar in all cultures, but the meaning of grief is different. In Eastern religions, a death does not represent a single event, but a life “cut short” at some point along the continuum of time.
Below we explore how Eastern religions generally view grief, along with their philosophical teachings.
Buddhism and grief
In Buddhism, the ultimate goal is to free oneself from the cycle of suffering, and grief is seen as one of the many manifestations of this cycle.