"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

Saturday, May 6, 2023

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 May flowers here in Western Massachusetts. 

Thick gray clouds moved in.  The sun disappeared.  And, for days and days and days, the world became cloudy, chilly, and wet.  We got doused.  Drizzled upon. Misted. Drenched.  

The flowers loved it, and -- believe it or not -- 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 propelled by the unexplored grief of a traumatic childhood, I'd invariably cloud up on gray days.  When storm clouds gathered, I'd rain on my own parade. 

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

Whether it's an overcast sky, a soft foggy drizzle, a thunder-booming rip-snorting whizz banger -- or anything in-between --  if 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.

As I sit here with fingers dancing across the keyboard, I see the sun finally emerging to play hide and seek with the storm clouds. Through the open window, I hear the wind singing in the trees, a collection of birds twittering, the pulsating surf of 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.  
 Life As It Is
Constantly changing,  Life's energies constantly ebb and flow.  With Practice, we come to sense the Unlimited Space within --and beyond -- the phenomena on display through our senses.  When we pause to let go of our own agenda, when we get out of our heads and into our hearts, the Practice brings us into contact with the ever-changing flow of Life directly.  Life is  simply -- and wonderfully --  what it is: a boundless, shifting web of energies dancing in the vast, mysterious space of unconditional love and unlimited potential. 

As best as I can tell, the key to the Gateless Gate that Zen master Mumon 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.  Grabbing for what isn't and 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 can sometimes dissolve instantaneously.  The moment we notice we are lost in our inner narrative, a shift can occur.  We can come to our senses and relax.
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 to, 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.



Dharma Bum 69b said...

Keeping it simple is not easy. I am constantly doing a 'Reality Check' - getting rid of whatever is not necessary - materially and spiritually as well. . . .

Peace brother

Anonymous said...

Very Beautiful Brother ❣️🙏
One Beautiful Love ❣️❣️❣️❣️