"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! Musings on Life and Practice by a Long-time Student of Meditation.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

One Love! One Heart!

“In Chinese, the word for heart and mind is the same -- Hsin. For when the heart is open and the mind is clear they are of one substance, of one essence.” 
-- Stephen Levine

"Love is not what we become but who we already are."
-- Stephen Levine

Originally Posted: March 12, 2014
This is one of those times.  The computer screen sat here and stared blankly at me for quite awhile. Neither of us seemed to have a clue as to what today's "MMM Courtesy Wake Up Call" might be.

I slept in this morning for the first time in quite awhile.  Although I did awaken at around 5:30 as usual, I read for a bit, then turned over and did  "dozing meditation" in and out of dreams and sleep until 9:45.  I guess the 17 hour drive back from Chicago and a couple of full days of catching up with everything except sleep finally caught up with me. 

Having dragged myself out of bed so late, I noticed feelings and thoughts emerge that tended towards making a decision to skip this morning's Sit.  I heard warm chatter and laughter down in the kitchen, and the image of heading downstairs to join Michael and Miriam, quaff some coffee, engage in an intelligent conversation,  and eat breakfast was quite appealing.   Then, in this scenario, I'd sit right down with the laptop to begin the blog post.  I was late, after all.  There were many things on the to do list.  There were lots of reasons to keep moving.

I Sat instead.

These days settling into that one hour morning meditation comes quite naturally most the time.  Sometimes, of course, a "decision" has to be made.  I need to whomp up a bit of discipline to override the impulse "to do", to tackle something on the list.  After all, there is a lot of conditioning to propel me on the way toward "achieving" something.

Thankfully, these days, the momentum of Practice usually just carries me along like an autumn leaf floating on the surface of a dancing brook.  I just get up, go pee, then Sit.  The real "decision" was apparently made a long time ago.  Since then, Morning and Meditation have become one and the same.  I awake and meditate for the awakening of all sentient beings. 
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Sitting here with sunshine streaming in the window, with fierce, even deadly, winds howling across fields and through the trees on the ridge (the wind chill just made it up to 0° from an overnight of -8°), I feel a glowing warmth and appreciation; a sense of wonder and exhilaration; and a deep gratitude that I somehow stumbled and bumbled my way into Practice, and through Practice,  into the Gracious Spaciousness of the One Love.  I'm so grateful to have realized that this tender, wounded little heart glowing in my chest is my direct connection to the One Heart of True Compassion.  In fact, they are not two.  Who would have thought?

And yet, lest you think that this means I'm "blissed out" all the time:

In the last 24 hours -- both on and off the zafu -- I've felt frightened, restless, sad, perplexed.  If I widen that window to 48 hours I can add shame, humiliation and hopelessness to the mix as well.   

Yet, for the most part, these "negative" emotions and the thoughts that accompany them seem to float their way along the surface of that same dancing brook that carries me to the zafu each morning.  And, as the brook moves along toward the sea, there is always breathing and seeing and hearing and the sensations of  Heart/Mind floating along with it.

These days, even if those types of thoughts and feelings swirl me up with them into the vortex of a momentary whirlpool, I generally just meet them and greet them as old friends, the consequences of our shared human condition, and wish them well as they come -- and go.  Underneath, the water is always pretty calm and pretty clear -- and is essentially no different than the open expanse of the blue sky reaching overhead.

So, I guess its obvious.  For me, it's a done deal.  I'm a Lifer.  The Practice is doing me as much as I'm doing it.  

How about you?  Got anything better to do?

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Your description of being late and Sitting anyway was touching and brought a smile to my face. Congratulations!