As a general matter, I am no longer a creature of my past experiences. I have freed myself from the past, from my attachments and unskillful desires. I experience things generally without the intervention of thought. I have surrendered my ego to my true Buddha nature.
But just as I realized about a year ago that while I was at one with the world at large, I was not at one with myself ... I had not read the teaching of the Heart Sutra as applying to my experience of myself! ... I realized that morning that I was not at one with people with whom I have a history, such as friends and family. Instead, I relate to them based on past experiences; those perceptions/labels intervene and impact what I say and do regarding them.
This is just one more example of how, regardless how advanced one is in ones practice (unless one is enlightened), our past influences our actions at times without our awareness of that fact. To wash the slate totally clean is an ongoing process.
Once I was aware of the problem, I was able to resolve it. Knowing that all my perceptions are illusory, that the past is past, and that all things are impermanent and changeable, I surrendered these attachments to past experience to my true Buddha nature so that I can be at one in the moment with these people in my life.
Please note, I know that this is not an easy matter. It took years of practice before I was able to follow my teacher’s teaching to surrender my ego, my learned experience, to my true Buddha nature. Now when I come upon such an awareness, I know the way. And undoubtedly this is not the last time that I will need to dissolve obstructions from the past.
Since that meditation I have observed my interaction with friends and family. And I have seen that I am one with them in the moment and am relating to them directly without the intervention of thought. How freeing that feels to have one more burden of the past removed. But as with all movement on the path, this will have to be deepened through discipline and further meditation.
Another lesson in practical Buddhism.