Monday, May 08, 2006

Being in NY

Wow, I've missed the opportunity this blog gives me to sort through my thoughts and experiences and make sense of them. Life just gets going and I've found myself torn between my meditation time and wanting to get to this blog- not to mention the regular time, writing papers, work. I've been meditating long enough to know that it needs to rate up there with eating and brushing my teeth as one of the necessities for health and happiness. It's interesting to me that getting centered and connecting with "the ultimate" in the morning makes it some much more likely that I will stay connected through the day. For someone who's not a "morning person", I've yet to make sense of that.

I took zenchild on a trip to NYC over the April vacation to celebrate her 13th birthday. I grew up in Boston but had never visited NYC amazingly. She and I met up with a friend who lives in the village that I'd met on a message board about 10 years ago and we had a grand girl-y time....admiring art and architecture, seeing a play, and doing some birthday shopping.

One thing that really struck me was the immense beauty of the city. Granted we arrived as a veritable heat wave struck and had the heady pleasure of strolling the city bathed in sun and warm breezes. So that was a lovely gift. I had expected a big, grey, frantically paced city in which it would be difficult to be mindful and what I found was so different.

I couldn't have been more thrilled by the bright lights and colors if I'd been taking in a field of poppies. Gazing out the window of the M6 bus we took down to the Staten Island Ferry felt like being dropped into the window of a kaleidoscope, swirling and turning in bright lively patterns. The sense of being a tiny little speck in a huge sea of bustling humanity didn't feel overwhelming as I might have guessed, I just felt a "part of" in a very comforting way. I practiced tonglen and did a lot of musing about interbeing. While trying on lipstick at Sephora, of course...don't want to give anyone the wrong impression here!

So the trip that started out as a gift to zenchild turned out to be a wonderful respite for me as well. It wasn't exactly a retreat but it was nonetheless a time free from regular responsibilities in which I could see and appreciate the beauty around me with new eyes...the gift of freshness I suppose. I marvel at the understanding that everything is a lesson, it's all opportunity for practice, and the means for waking up is all around us no matter where we are.

I love NY.

Authentic Kindness of the Heart


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