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
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.
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.
It's sometimes just that simple.
It takes Practice.