"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.

Friday, April 28, 2017

When It Rains...

"The way to dissolve our resistance to life is to meet it face to face...When we want to complain about the rain, we could feel it's wetness instead."
-- Pema Chodron

“The best thing one can do when it is raining is to let it rain. ” 
-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

It's been one of those weeks.  

Although I'm relatively busy for a retired old coot, it's not like I have to punch in for forty hours a week anymore and then take care of all the rest of the basic elements of life in this hyped-up version of human "civilization."  These days I often have the time and space to wander aimlessly a bit, maybe even take a nap in the afternoon a few days a week.  

Not so this week.  

Time and time again, when I thought I could finally get some down time, something else came up.  When it rains, it pours.

When it rains, it pours.  

Not content with metaphor, Mother Nature made that old adage literal this last week of April as well.  In the midst of all the unanticipated busyness, She even upped the ante to soak us with another old maxim.  It showered on and off all week.  She poured her heart out to insure that next week will bring abundant May flowers.  As a result, the sun disappeared for days at at time -- and I often had to juggle an umbrella along with my toolbox.

There was a time that "rainy days and mondays would always get me down."  If the truth be told, though, these days I actually don't mind rain.  In fact, I usually love it.  It is always a chance to get real.

Whether it's a soft foggy drizzle or a thunder-booming rip-snorting whizzbanger -- or anything in-between -- once I'm just present for the actual experience, there is something immensely alive and vibrant about the rain.  Dancing beyond our ability to control it, Mother Nature just is.  She will just do what she will do -- no matter how we think or feel about it.  Why not relax and dig it!? 

At this very moment

I feel a lot of gratitude for Mindfulness Practice at this very moment.  

As I sit here with fingers dancing across the keyboard, I see the sun playing hide and seek with storm clouds through the skylight. Through the open window I hear the wind singing in the trees, a collection of birds twittering .  I also hear the sounds of Betsy's twin grandkids chattering towards a nap downstairs.  

Pausing, letting go for a moment of "thinking mind", I'm aware of my breath and the sensations of my body sitting here.  I feel the wind dancing across my skin through that same open window.  The sounds ebb and flow.  The sensations ebb and flow. 

Life is like that, too.  
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Constantly changing,  Life's energies constantly ebb and flow.  With Practice, we come to sense the Unlimited Space within all of that -- and beyond all of that.  Letting go of our own agenda, getting out of our heads and into our hearts, the Practice brings us into contact with the ever-changing flow of Life directly.  Life simply is what it is: vast, unfathomable, profound.

As best as I can tell, the key to that Gateless Gate is our ability to let go of our desire to control Life to meet our own self-serving agenda in any one moment.  If we are willing to dance ahead, opening our hearts and minds to Life on its own terms, Life itself holds us close to its heart.  

Increasingly, a deep sense of ease and joy emerges.

With Practice, we come to see directly that a self-created hell can dissolve instantaneously, at the moment we notice we are lost in our inner narrative.  Opening to the present moment, we open to the Boundless Love that always exists in our Heart of Hearts.  

It's sometimes just that simple.

But simple doesn't necessarily mean it's easy.  It takes time and effort -- on and off the meditation cushion.  It takes a serious commitment to open to, experience, and accept what is.  This is no mean feat. You must be willing to Love in earnest, to risk heart break.

It takes Practice.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Working on a Monday and reading this post, I'm glad to know that a few hours north of here, people are Practicing at Monday Morning Mindfulness right now, for the sake of all the people like me who are trying not to let Mondays get us down!

Beautiful post, and I love the picture of the rainbow and the lightning.