Thursday, February 09, 2006

Just today

Today is just a day. How odd that I should find it comforting to note! There's no drama to report and no big challenges so far....I thought I had nothing to write about but then I thought again.

I am going about my daily activities, driving to school, stopping by my parents house for coffee, talking to my sister on the phone, organizing bills, contemplating laundry. There's no charge, no excitement. Interestingly, my recent experience with my rapid heart rhythm has made me much more aware of what gets my heart beating more rapidly. The other night at work during a stressful exchange with a physician I could feel a little adrenaline surge. Immediately I thought, "This isn't good for me" and I paid attention to my breathing, lowered and softened my voice, and unclenched my fist. The most amazing thing was that the result of making a conscious effort to relax my physical body, the irritation I was feeling seemed to lessen quite a bit. I guess I have a new way to understand the concept of "letting go" and another lesson about taking care of myself.

Anyway, these are the kinds of days I love.

These are the kinds of days I feel like I really might make it as a Buddhist! Driving slowly, enjoying the banter from the back seat of the car, appreciating a cup of tea, sitting in meditation in a sunny room, walking to the mailbox and waving the mail person, sorting through clothes to be washed, catching up on emails...Pretty much being present for all these mundane things feels like a small miracle. In these moments I feel connected to Spirit, the Ultimate, that ineffable creative energy that runs through my life just waiting for me to be able to change my posture, to turn towards it, always there.

I can't say how lucky I feel to have found a practice that teaches me how to find peace in stressful times but also in everyday moments. I recall Blake's poem that talks about finding the world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wildflower. I thought I'd understood the meaning of the poem but not until practicing mindfulness did I really feel that experience for myself. So I am grateful for these times when conditions are sufficient and I am tuned in enough to appreciate the lovliness all around me.

Sorting laudry? Who'd have thunk it? I'm not telling anyone else but if you haven't tried it, you just have to. It's a wonderful alchemy... finding the divine in the mundane, like turning coal to diamonds or lead to gold. And it doesn't take much to start. Just the intention to be present for whatever you experience and the ability to come back when you've drifted off, usually by paying attention to the breath. You'll see.

Authentic Kindness of the Heart


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