My best friend died last November.

Yesterday, I was in a business meeting with a new client at her business. A person from my friend’s old workplace stopped in to call on my new client. When that person left, I told this new client of mine a personal story about my friend that was wholly inappropriate for the situation.

I don’t think my new client cared about what I said, but I’ll find out later today.

In my meditation this morning, this incident popped up in my mind, as these things often do in meditation. And so I “sat with it”. I looked at it, not trying to change it, or to figure it out, or to reject it, or embrace it. I just sat there comfortably and perceived it. I watched it change.

Soon I was filled with all kinds of gakky emotions, sitting there in my chair, just looking at what I thought was a memory of something that happened yesterday. And then I started crying and I realized that I still had a lot of grief over the loss of my best friend. And this was probably why I made that inappropriate comment to my new client.

And so, again, in meditation I sat and I looked at it, and I just let all this play out in my mind and my body, watching the fireworks display.

Then I began to see all of the grief I have, from the loss of my best friend, and my parents, to the loss of old girlfriends and wives, even the loss of “lifestyles” Iused to live. I saw that I even have grief over the loss of my childhood, my teenage years, cars I used to have and old apartments I used to live in. I saw that my life was strewn with grief – big and small – right up to this very moment.

And then I saw that life is simply strewn with grief.

Grief is a much more common thing than I ever realized.

I saw that the “bitter” part of “bittersweet” is just dried-up grief.

I think that the righteous anger and quixotic crusades I’ve launched to “take down” Scientology were often fueled by grief for having lost my religion.

It was a powerful thing to lose.

As I ended my meditation and opened up my eyes and stretched and yawned I saw that life is constantly changing, and there can be loss and its resultant grief for every little change. It’s as if life is a river of impermanence flowing right before my eyes. Every little thing floating by goes away down the stream.

I didn’t start the river, and I will never stop it. It’s just a river flowing by.

And it’s a beautiful scene.