but I won't be blue always
Yes, the sun gonna shine,
in my back door someday
dynamic nature of your own being and of reality,
you increase your capacity to love and care about other people
and your capacity to not be afraid."
-- Pema Chödrön, Practicing Peace in Times of War
At this point, I have no idea whether this is a sign of advanced practice, personal inadequacy -- or outright addiction.
I suppose it could be said that this daily ritual is a result of my personal commitment to Practice. It doesn't feel like that anymore. It's just what happens when I roll out of bed.
Over the years I've learned that labeling a particular meditation session "good" or "bad" is missing the point. Although I certainly notice my own tendency to prefer the pleasant sensations of a particularly bright, calm and spacious quality of consciousness over the claustrophobic storm clouds of doom and gloom or the buzzy feeling of endless discursive prattle, it is precisely there that Practice begins and ends: we notice.
I suppose this may be the primary lesson of Buddhism 101: A whole lot of needless suffering seems to emerge from the conditioned habit of mindlessly grasping onto the pleasant and reflexively rejecting the unpleasant. Bringing that process into the light of Mindfulness opens a new world of possibility. As we bring Mindfulness to the present moment, oftentimes we see quite clearly that the "trouble in mind" is quite ephemeral. Most often, it is just held in place by the current story line, the narrative we carry on in that section of mind that emerges as thought.
Seeing that clearly, the skies clear, the sun returns -- sometimes instantaneously.
Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Yet, it is true that there are deeply troubled waters in life. Mindfulness Practice then becomes the bridge to a deeper understanding. Gently and courageously opening our hearts and minds to the horrors and sadness of life, exploring and embracing the human condition as we experience it with diligence and care, brings forth a deep transformation. And, wonder of wonders, it increasingly allows us to open to deeper levels of joy and peace and amazement as well.
At times, the river of life dances and sparkles, reflecting the brilliant sun. At times it glowers. brandishing storm clouds as it broils downstream. It is still the river. As we taste our True Nature, we see that we, too, are the river. At that point, as we flow inexorably to merge with the sea, True Love becomes increasingly possible.
It just takes Practice.