-- Harada Roshi, opening talk,
Rohatsu Sesshin, Sogenji Monastery, 2011
— Chögyam Trungpa, The Myth of Freedom
|My Little Corner of the World|
Generally, at least once a night, I have to roll out of bed and walk a few steps into the adjoining room. There, I participate in one aspect of this Grand Recyling Project known in some circles as Samsara.
Then, depending on a multitude of factors ranging from things like phases of the moon, to what happens to be on my mind that particular moment, I usually plop right back into bed and meditate back to sleep, often catching a few dream bubbles along the way.
Sometimes, something else happens.
Last night, as I crawled into bed, I heard the winds howling outside the window. I then felt a bit of coolness on my skin as a draft found its way under the blanket that hangs over the window alongside my bed for nights like these.
Curious, I pulled a corner of the blanket up to take a peek.
Outside the windows, the stark silhouettes of winter's barren trees danced wildly in the moonlight as their shadows mirrored their moves across the blue-white snow of the yard behind the gardens. Under the influence of a brilliant moon that was only a sliver past full, the surreal world outside the window was luminous. It seemed to glow from within.
I was awestruck.
Thoughts, being incapable of grasping the majesty of the moment, became irrelevant. They just went on their merry way unattended -- leaving wonder in their wake. I was all eyes and ears.
Transfixed, I don't know how long I was present for that particular miracle before I let the blanket fall back across the window, rolled over, and returned to sleep through feelings of wordless wonder and soft, sleepy delight.
As beautiful as the scene outside my window was last night, I also know the stark reality. It was brutally cold out there. According to the National Weather Service, the raw temperature at 4 a.m at a small airport near here was -13°F. The windchill was -22°. Given different circumstances, that scene I gazed at outside the window wouldn't be delightful. It would be deadly.
Yet, in the grand scope of things, it is always like that, right?
Although we don't like to face it, Life itself is a deadly proposition. Without exception, our life is a terminal condition. Nobody gets outta here alive.