"Mindfulness Practice isn't just about escaping to some magical inner realm devoid of life's challenges. The Practice is about progressively opening your heart and calming your mind enough to engage Life directly, to be more fully Present in a kind, clear, and helpful way."

Your MMM Courtesy Wake Up Call! Musings on Life and Practice by a Long-time Student of Meditation.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Suffering Is Not Enough

"Life is filled with suffering, but it is also filled with many wonders, like the blue sky, the sunshine, the eyes of a baby. To suffer is not enough. We must also be in touch with the wonders of life. 
They are within us and all around us, everywhere, any time."

---Thich Nhat Hanh, "Suffering is Not Enough"
                     
I awoke this morning well aware that the weather service is predicting 90+° temperatures for today--and for several days running.  When I first saw the prediction a couple of days ago, I found myself cringing a bit with images of being very uncomfortable running through my mind and body.  I noticed that again this morning when I surfed to the National Weather Service local weather page.  I would even say that there was a sense of "dread" that emerged.

Then I turned to the immediate sensations I was experiencing beyond those thoughts and emotions.

Right now, a cool gentle breeze is blowing through the window.  I can feel the coolness along the skin of my arms and legs as I sit here.  I can hear the twitterings and songs of birds out the window to my right and out the front window to my left.  The gentle whirring of the laptop and it's warmth against my lap feel comforting as I sit here with my back propped up against the pillows.  I am quite comfortable at the moment.  Life actually feels quite wonderful.

Since my fingers are still on the keyboard and I chose to sit here and write, I guess I have to again turn my thoughts to this afternoon.  (I did think of just stopping after "Life actually feels quite wonderful" and hitting send but that seemed like cheating--although that would have had a certain Zen panache to it.)

What honestly emerges for me as I bring this afternooon's weather prediction to mind again is actually a great curiosity! I actually have no idea what it is going to really feel like.

I can rely on a cluster of memories to imagine it a certain way, but if I examine those memories carefully there isn't much substance there.  Looking at it carefully, it seems that the thoughts about it, the imaginings, are what operate to lock this afternoon's weather into place as something that will be uncomfortable, dreadful.

If I cut loose of those thoughts, all that remains are my fingers on the keyboard, my breath, the coolness of the breeze against my skin,  the sensations of my body against the bed, the sound of the birds twittering outside the window--and a feeling of wonder and curiosity floating in the great spaciousness of Life as it is.

How cool is that?




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