"Mindfulness and Meditation allow us to open our hearts, relax our bodies, and clear our minds enough to experience the vast, mysterious, sacred reality of life directly. With Practice we come to know for ourselves that eternity is available in each moment.

Your MMM Courtesy Wake Up Call:
Musings on Life and Practice
by a Longtime Student of Meditation

Friday, August 10, 2018

Suffering Is Not Enough

"Life is filled with suffering, but it is also filled with many wonders, like the blue sky, the sunshine, the eyes of a baby. To suffer is not enough. We must also be in touch with the wonders of life. They are within us and all around us, everywhere, any time."
--Thich Nhat Hanh

“Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, 
we enter the warrior's world.”
--  Pema Chödrön

I awoke that morning well aware that the weather service was predicting 95+° temperatures for the entire week.  I cringed as images of being very, very, uncomfortable ran through my mind.

That happened again as I grabbed my morning coffee and sat at the computer.  Surfing to the National Weather Service local weather page, a sense of "dread" emerged as I stared at the screen.

For days on end: High temperatures!  High humidity! Severe thunderstorms!

"Damn!", I thought.  "It's going to be a journey to the freakin' hell realms!"

Then, I remembered.  (The pali word which we translate as mindfulness also means "to remember.")

I let go of the thoughts careening through my head, sat up a bit straighter, and relaxed my shoulders.  Taking a couple of long, slow, conscious breaths, I brought to my attention to the present moment.

Outside, the sun hadn't yet risen over the trees across the way, and a cool, gentle breeze was blowing through the bedroom window.  Sitting there, no longer lost in my thoughts, I could feel it's caress on the skin of my arms.  Rather than the fiery furnace of thought that my mind had created moments ago, I noticed that I was actually a bit chilled in the early morning air.  The warmth of the laptop actually felt quite grand on my thighs as I sat there with my back propped up against the pillows.  Outside the window leaves danced and birds sang.

Life actually felt quite delicious.
Be Here Now

Since I'm still sitting here with my fingers on the keyboard and I seem to engaged in writing this post, I guess I have to make some sort of point here.  (Actually, I did think of just stopping and hitting send.  Although that would have had a certain Zen panache to it, it seemed like cheating.  LOL)

What emerged for me that morning was seeing clearly the obvious difference between the suffering that I was creating out of thin air as a result of previous conditions and the delightful nature of the actual experience available in the present moment.  If I could remember to let go of the world of complaints, and relax the physical and mental tightness that emerged with those complaints, what would it actually feel like to walk out into the day later that morning? In actuality I had no idea.  A deep, delightful curiosity emerged.

I then cut loose of those thoughts.   

All that remained was the sensation of my fingers dancing across the keyboard, my breathing, the coolness of the breeze against my skin, the warmth of the computer whirring on my lap, the sound of the birds twittering --and a profound feeling of wonder floating in the vast spaciousness of Life as it is.

How cool is that?

P.S.  Walking downtown to the Coop that afternoon was grand.  Even walking out of AC into the heat of the day was pleasant.  I actually used to like doing a sauna. LOL

Originally posted, May 30, 2013. Revised.


Unknown said...

Simply beautiful post.

Unknown said...

I thoroughly enjoyed that too (=