When we want to complain about the rain, we could feel it's wetness instead."
Although I'm relatively busy for a retired old coot, it's not like I have to punch in for forty hours a week and then hustle to take care of everything else in the midst of this hyped-up version of human society
These days I often have the time and space to wander aimlessly a bit, maybe even take a nap in the afternoon a few days a week.
Not so this week.
Time and time again, when I thought I could finally get some down time, something else came up. I even found myself crawling under a car to take a look for the first time in years. (I have lived without a personal vehicle for the past six years or so.)
When it rains, it pours.
Rainy Days and Mondays...
Not content with metaphor, Mother Nature again got serious with her April Showers this week. Although we were graced with the splendor of one sunny day, it showered on and off the rest of the week. Mother Nature poured her heart out to ensure that next week will bring abundant May flowers.
There was a time that "rainy days and Mondays would always get me down." As a child, I had felt trapped inside. As an adult, my mood would descend into melancholy and depression in the grasp of a rainy spell. A brief tour of Washington State during the rainy season years ago made it clear to me that I would never chose to live in a place that would seasonally deliver fog, gloom, and rain for long stretches of time.
That was then. It's different now.
These days I actually don't mind rain. In fact, if the truth be told, I usually love it. Connecting with Mother Nature as she does what she does is always a chance to get real.
Whether it's a soft foggy drizzle or a thunder-booming rip-snorting whizz banger -- 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 sit here with fingers dancing across the keyboard, I see the sun playing hide and seek with storm clouds through the window. Through the open window I hear the wind singing in the trees, a collection of birds twittering. Occasionally, a car hisses and splashes along the wet pavement of High Street.
The Gateless Gate
Letting go of our own agenda, loosening our attachment to strong likes and dislikes, getting out of our heads and into our hearts, the Practice brings us into contact with the ever-changing flow of Life directly. With Practice, we come to sense the Unlimited Space within all of that -- and beyond all of that. Life simply becomes what it is: vast, unfathomable, profound.
As best as I can tell, the key to the 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 deeper sense of ease and joy emerges.
It's sometimes just that simple.
We must be willing and able to let go and let it be. We must be willing to Love in earnest, to risk heartbreak, to forgive ourselves and others, again and again -- and embrace the next moment with kindness, compassion, and equanimity. This is no mean feat.
It just takes Practice.