I have not known jealousy or powerful desire for many years. For example, about 7 years ago my youngest daughter who was 11 at the time received a skull fracture in a car accident. I had no desire to undo the situation because it couldn't be undone. I stood in the emergency room and later in intensive care looking at her with wires, IV's and a breathing tube and my mind did not race through the possibilities of the future. I felt no fear. I just accepted the path I was on, I was totally in the present, why worry about a future that would not turn out the way I would imagine. It never does. And it turned out pretty good, she still has seizures but is now in college. To me the greatest lesson from Buddha is all pain is caused by desire. When you can let it go, not hang on to what you want and except what is, you can handle anything.
Marvelously put, Mr. Armstrong. As an old magazine editor I would cavil only with the use of "except" where you obviously intend "accept." As I age (I am 67) I make the same mental typos, believe me. The reason your short discussion appeals to me is that I have reached the same conclusions and hope that I have your stoic-Buddhistic stance in the face of odds and roadblocks (which, of course, Buddhism considers "opportunities"). When my friend of 25 years died almost a year ago, I could not believe how calmly I took it, and I hope her family did not think I was disengaged or uncaring. (What you write is common to Taoism as well, as the Superior Man avoids both the raga and the dvesha, the twin codependent kleshas that are hindrances to progress on your path.) In a certain way, even popular Christian religions have their truths, and one that may have developed along Buddhist lines (where was the prophet during the gap from childhood to adulthood?) is that "we go to a better place." Emptiness is better than the dance of desire; it is what Meursault in Camus' "The Stranger" called "the benign indifference of the universe."
I found this out the other day. The whole reason I was struggling was because I always want, want, want and didn't think about the other people around me. Meditation actually helps me to think clearly and take a step back at what I'm doing.
When you can let go of wanting and desire life is so much better. I'm not perfect, sometimes life is so busy it clouds your thinking, but when I am not overwhelmed. I don't need anything except food and maybe a bathroom. I could be homeless and it would not diminish my happiness.
This is not a surprise and then again it is. I am surprised that almost no one has something to express. May be I am...
I lost my job, outsourced. Took 3 months to find another. Had to sell the home that I lived in more years than anywhere else at a an 80 thousand dollar loss. Doesn't bother me at all. Life is good when you stay focused on the present and don't let fear of future or what the future could have been if the past was different cause you emotional pain. The past and the future don't matter. There is only now.