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

Your MMM Courtesy Wake Up Call!

The Musings of a Long-time Student of Meditation

Thursday, December 24, 2015

All Is Calm, All Is Bright

With deep gratitude to the Teachers and Teachings that brought Tonglen Practice into my life.

Hold the sadness and pain of samsara in your heart and at the same time the power and vision of the Great Eastern Sun. Then the warrior 
can make a proper cup of tea.”
― Chögyam Trungpa


 “When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it's bottomless, that it doesn't have any resolution, that this heart is huge, vast, and limitless. You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness is there, as well as how much space.”
― Pema Chödrön


Outside the window, an early morning lemon white sun glistened across snow tinged in blue as I took my seat for morning meditation today.  The overnight temperature had dropped to 5 degrees overnight, so the official beginning of winter at 11:19 p.m. here in Western Massachusetts seems appropriate enough.  

Yet, I had noticed that they are predicting sunshine and a temperature of 45° the day after tomorrow!

Immediately thoughts arise and I notice myself face to face with the spectre of Global Warming.  My heart aches as a deep sadness emerges.  

Allowing these thoughts to dissolve, knowing that others feel this sadness also, I breath the fullness of this feeling into my heart as I recite two of the traditional Brahmavihara phrases:  "May all beings be safe. May all beings be free of suffering and the roots of suffering".  

As the in-breath continues, I notice a sense of spaciousness re-emerge as first my belly, then my rib cage expands.  My tender, warm, achy breaky heart is comforted in the embrace of a calm, clear, expansive open awareness that seemingly extends throughout and beyond space and time as the in-breath continues.  

As in-breath becomes out-breath, the words "May all beings be at peace" float on that breath as it dissolves into the Essential Oneness, radiating outward on the wings of a translucent visualization of the clear and brilliant eyes of countless beings gleaming in full awareness of their Buddhanature. 

I continue breathing and Practicing for awhile, and my heart glows as a deep joy mingles with a soft melancholy.  The world continues to glisten outside the window.  

All is calm, all is bright.

The words of this traditional Christmas carol ring through my consciousness, whispering of the vast expansiveness of the One Love which resides deep within us -- and infinitely beyond us.  

As we turn toward the celebrations of this holiday season, may we all rest in the embrace of this One Love.  

Sitting here now, I renew my vow to be clear enough and kind enough to help bring about the changes needed to create a sustainable, cooperative, peaceful world.

(For more on Tonglen Practice, see The Practice of Tonglen by Pema Chodron)

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Very nice Lance :)

I read this blog post this morning because I was feeling, "All is CALM? And BRIGHT? You've got to be kidding." Your words about deep joy mingling with soft melancholy helped remind me what is possible. Thank you for your work to make a sustainable, cooperative, peaceful world--I'll do my best right alongside you.