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Touching Toulouse in the ultimate dimension

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Brutus to the left, Toulouse to the rightI’m reading “Opening the Heart of the Cosmos, insights on the Lotus Sutra” by Thich Nhat Hanh and learning about the historic and ultimate dimension.

The historic dimension is the reality as we know it in our current body and is bound by time and space. We are born, we live, we die. A car is manufactured, used and disassembled. A song is written, popular, and forgotten. There is a beginning, middle and end.

The ultimate dimension is the continuous flow of life, of unlimited being, of the one and the all.

Once we touch the ultimate dimension, we lose our fear of death, because we understand that we cannot die, that we were never born, that we have always been. Our present appearance is just one of the multitude manifestations of the ultimate dimension. A wave cannot die, it just returns to water, which it has been all along.

I don’t claim that I get it. I think if I did, I would be way more open, loving, and relaxed. I would be less anxious, jealous and angry.

And last night I realized that I am probably seeing a glimpse of the ultimate dimension in the loss of and continued connection with my cat: Toulouse.

She was my buddy, soul mate and Bodhisattva of unconditional acceptance, boundless love, and immeasurable appreciation. She followed me around the house, the garden, out on the street. She used any opportunity to jump on my lap, cuddle with me on the couch, crawl under the comforter and find her favorite spot in my arms.

I left her behind with my ex-husband, when I got a divorce and moved to the USA. I was heart-broken. Whenever I felt upset, I took her picture and held it to my heart. I’d fall asleep like that. Even now, five years later, I feel a raw, scourging pain in my stomach. She was the love of my life.

I went back to the Netherlands twice a year, and always visited my ex-husband and my two cats. As soon as I opened the door, she’d run up to me and claim my lap. She loved me as ever before. She never held a grudge that I had left her behind, as if she honored my choice, and accepted my departure.

The last time I saw her was December 2010. She could hardly walk, lost 10 pounds, and couldn’t get up on the couch.

My ex-husband took her to the vet Jan 21, 2011 to let her die.

I wasn’t there.

Despite all the grief, sadness and loss -that I even feel right now as I write about her- I feel this incredible joy of knowing that I never lost her. She is here with me,  right now. She is always available with her love, affection, and acceptance. Her appreciation never died.

I understand it better now.

I am touching Toulouse in the ultimate dimension.

Author: Elly van Laar

I am a coach. I specialize in helping professionals schedule time for relationships and self-care. I have a Master's degree in Political Science, Leiden University, the Netherlands. I love meditation, walking, gardening, biking, and hanging out with family and friends.

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