"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.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

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

At age 72, I'm extremely grateful to be a retired old coot. 

No longer spinning on the hamster wheel of a forty hour work week (to then take care of all the rest of my life in this hyped-up version of human "civilization), I often have the time and space to wander aimlessly a bit, maybe even take a nap in the afternoon.

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...  

Not content with metaphor, Mother Nature now is making that old adage literal this weekend.  Gazing at heavy gray skies at the moment, the weather prognosticators are predicating rain for the entire weekend and into Monday.  After a stretch of perfect sunny days, most of which had me in meetings, gatherings, or in front of the computer for hours at a time, it appears Mother Nature is going to pour her heart out when I have time to play.  

There was a time that "rainy days and monday's 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 pause, take a few conscious breaths and actually look at the sky outside the window, it isn't the flat, two dimensional battleship grey surface I'd first perceived it to be.  It's variegated, textured, marbled with colors ranging from soft lemon pale grey to that of deep smoke. Through the open window, there's birdsong and the hiss of tires along wet pavement.  Aware of my breath and my body, the wind dances through that window and caresses my skin.  The sounds ebb and flow.  The sensations ebb and flow.

Life is like that, too.  
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The Present of Presence

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.  When we come to our senses and are Present, 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.

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