"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 Longtime Student of Meditation

Saturday, May 1, 2021

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

When it rains, it pours...

As April waned, Mother Nature showed up to do her part to bring on the flowers of May here in Western Massachusetts.   

The sun disappeared for days at a time.  On and off, for over a week, we got doused.  Drizzled upon. Drenched.   

The flowers loved it.  

So did I.

This wasn't always the case.  There was a time that "rainy days and monday's would always get me down."  Prone to bouts of depression, primarily emerging from the unexplored grief of a traumatic childhood, I'd invariably cloud up on gray days, and rain on my own parade. 

Nowadays, I find gray days and stormy weather energizing.  It is always a chance to get real.

Whether it's an overcast sky, a soft foggy drizzle, a thunder-booming rip-snorting whizzbanger -- or anything in-between --  once I remember to just be present for the actual experience, there is something immensely alive and vibrant about such weather.  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.  So, 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 sit here with fingers dancing across the keyboard, I see the sun playing hide and seek with storm clouds outside. Through the open window, I hear the wind singing in the trees, a collection of birds twittering, the tires hissing along the rain slickened asphalt of High Street.

Pausing, letting go for a moment of "thinking mind," I'm aware of my breath and the sensations of my body sitting here.  I feel the wind dancing across my skin through that same open window.  The sounds ebb and flow.  The sensations ebb and flow. 

Life is like that, too.  
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.  Life simply is what it is: a web of boundless, shifting energy dancing in the vast, mysterious space of unlimited potential.

As best as I can tell, the key to the Gateless Gate that Zen master Mumon Ekai (1183-1260) presented in his classic collection of koans, is our ability to let go of our desire to control Life to meet our own self-serving agenda.  Resisting what is, we pull the plug on our fundamental connection to the unlimited energy available.  If we are willing to open our hearts and minds to embrace Life on its own terms, Life, itself, embraces us. 

Increasingly, a deep sense of ease and joy emerges.

With Practice, we come to see directly that a self-created hell will sometimes dissolve instantaneously.  The moment we notice we are lost in our inner narrative, a shift can occur.  Opening to the present moment, we open to the Unconditioned and the Unconditional,  the boundless One 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, experience, and accept what is.  You must be willing to let go, to be patient and gentle with yourself and others.  You must be willing to risk heartbreak, to Love in earnest.  Again and again.  This is no mean feat.

It takes Practice.

1 comment:

Carol said...

Nice observation explanation of moment to moment in the moments. It is a soothing balm for the soul to be in the moment recognizing the peace and harmony of reality and letting go, and.....to remember those moments when hectic moments of nonsense try to invade and claim stressful validation.
Thanks for the pep talk.
stay safe!