I was at a Vipassana retreat from April 13 - April 24 and had planned to write a blog entry this morning. However, another priority arose. I had to euthanize my older dog; it was clear that she was ready to take her final sleep. Fortunately, it wasn't that she was suffering. She was just obviously tired and missing the spark of life she used to have, as well as quite weak.

This wasn't a complete surprise for me, as she has been in decline for some time. In fact, I wasn't sure she was going to make it through the time I was at the retreat. So, I was thrilled to be able to see her again when I returned on Sunday knowing that I would now be able to be there for her final moments.

Nonetheless, I am still having to adjust to the loss. Having spent ten days at the retreat developing an acceptance of the impermanence of all things, the need to develop a mindset of not becoming attached to those things, and the fact that we generate our own misery to the extent that we do develop attachment, doesn't change the fact that there is still pain in letting go. Practicing Vipassana does not eliminate pain, it eliminates misery. I would not say that I am miserable. I would say that I am sad and will admit that I have broken into tears many times today.

It's an interesting coincidence that my previous blog entry has a picture of my princess when she was still full of life (albeit dealing with symptoms of her illness). I find it extremely easy to smile at that picture right now. She lived a great life. Goodbye my sweet princess.

So, on the whole I am feeling tremendous gratitude. I'll post an entry (or maybe more) about the retreat sometime soon.

I give thanks to the Universe for the abundance it provides me. I surrender and am open and ready to receive.

Bhavatu sabba mangalam - May all beings be happy