I have taken notice of a phenomenon in my practice. I am over a period of time going through similar phases. For a while I will be filled with joy and at peace with EVERYTHING. Then for a while life will be stressful and chaotic. Practice helps take the edge off most of the time. But there are moments that mind is dull and I can not seem to polish it for all my efforts. I recently have gotten over one of these periods and feel like sharing the joy again. But everyone has there own pace. Everyone is on there own ride of ebb and flow. Words are so limited. I like the Chinese and Japanese poets who did so much with so little. But when ever I try to express something that way I worry that I may sound arrogant or like a know it all (I know not) or like a bad Yoda impersonator. Sometimes I want to point out things and yell "IT'S RIGHT THERE!!!" and other times I wish someone would do the same (quickly)for me. I am lucky to have encountered some who have.
Yesterday was my birthday. It was hot. My mom called and was wishing me a happy one. I retreated to the coolest room in the house and lay on the bed as I spoke. Then the girls came. They had fun using me as a spring board giggling constantly. I quoted Dr. Suse and said "no you must not hop on pop!" But to no avail they were having allot of fun at the expense of the conversation with my Mom. She could hear the laughter too and I think she appreciated it just as much as she would have a conversation. I know I did. The laughter of children is priceless.
As the sun went down and outside became cooler than inside I directed the family to the back patio. I practiced with the Shakuhachi, my wife read a book, the girls played in the yard. The fish swam and nibbled at algae. The dog ran about and played with the kids after he was let outside. The neighbor smoked a cigarette. A cool breeze blew the scent into my yard. A lone ant raced across the timber outlining the pond.
There is so much more to appreciate. Trying to make a phone call at work to a distant office where the phone is answered only rarely and e-mails and messages are seemingly ignored. Or when you see someone close to you is causing their own suffering, unwilling to take action to end it. Or the constant abuse of "absolutes" by an organizational leader. How do can I even make a tiny dent in my own sea of ignorance let alone everyone else's? Can I whole heartedly appreciate these things for what they are?
I sit, and I endeavor to sit brightly.
Be well, and if you can, be happy!