Rain scatters plum petals;
Weeping stains the earth.
One can only take shelter
And wait for clearing.
When sorrow comes, its bitterness soaks everything. The sages say that life is illusion, but does that change its poignancy? Let us be sad; it is feeling that makes us human. If we gain enlightenment, understanding all life to be a dream, sadness and happiness will fall away soon enough.
The greatest sorrow of life is witnessing. Experiencing our own sufferings is not as difficult as watching others held in fate’s mighty grip. Bearing our own problems is easier because we are always aware that we can exercise other options — up to the final one. However, it hurts the most when we can do nothing for others. The greatest sorrow is to see those we love suffer helplessly.
When faced with a sad situation, it is best not to languish in it. We can change things by being with different people, moving to other places, or, if all else fails, adjusting our own attitudes to take the initiative. Sadness is transitory, like everything else. If we want to deflect it, we need only alter its context and allow it to be subsumed back into Tao.