Question: Have been bothered by some thoughts and wonder what is the Buddhist way of looking at them. I feel as if the theory of the Dharma cannot quite tally with actual human experience. Theory is easier said than done.
Answer: The theory of anything, from walking to swimming and whatnot, is always easier said than done. The reason why Dharma teachings sometimes seem off-sync with life is because we are of-sync from the way things should be. That’s why we need to practise — to get back in sync.
Question: I recently broke up. The man has found someone else. It has been long-drawn relationship. Objectively, I knew the best thing to do is for us to move on. Yet when I knew he is seeing someone else, it tore me apart.
Answer: This is quite natural – a kind of jealousy perhaps. If he knows you are with someone else, he might feel similar? This is part of the phase of getting used to being separate. Time will heal. The good times you had will stay with you as memories. But since they can’t continue, it’s time to move on mentally; not just physically.
Question: The worst thing is that I cannot stop imagining his new life with the new person.
Answer: There’s no need to do this. Just wish them well when they come to mind. Rejoice counters jealousy.
Question: My logical mind knows that letting go and moving on is the best way forward, but why is my emotional mind not doing so? Why does the mind still cling to an illusion of togetherness? The resolve to move on is strong, but the mind seems to be going in the opposite direction.
Answer: This is so when the practice of rejoicing in the happiness of others is not strong yet. Try to visualise the other way round — him being lonely and miserable till old. If that seems unpleasant, you will naturally wish him well. Picture him for a moment being happy with someone else happily. Just smile, wish them well, and move on. Practice makes perfect! May all be well and happy.