what is homesickness, really?

What is homesickness?

It starts with the thought that where we are right now isn’t enough. We are drawn to thoughts that picture both a right-now non-existent past, and that project a right-now non-existent future. On top of that, feelings of longing and heartsickness attach to the thoughts. They grab on for dear life, because the life of the separate self depends on creating this kind of attachment, again and again.

But if we look carefully, what are those feelings, actually? They can be broken down into very specific body sensations. And if we pay close attention, the body sensations shift and change. They are impermanent.

As I sit here, I’m thinking of an Irish wolfhound who lived with us for many years, Dancer. Here is one of my favorite pictures of her nuzzling my ear. Seeing it again brings up a series of thoughts about the day the photo was taken, and waves of feelings–yearning, missing her–that attach to those thoughts. It’s a kind of homesickness. As I sit quietly, I notice that there is a sensation of pulling near my heart, and tightness in my chest. Hollowness in my belly.

I allow these sensations. They are what is arising! In fact, I welcome them. In this welcoming, they can be fully felt.

Nothing else needs or wants to be done.

© Skye Blaine, 2011

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