I had the pleasure of sitting with some dear students yesterday, and I listened as they shared their reflections after meditation. The feeling and idea of simplicity surfaced, especially in contrast to the moments of life that instead feel complex and complicated. How often are we caught in the web of our thinking mind? How often are we chasing our ideas and beliefs, our past and future, our sorrows and joys? While this is a part of our human experience and not to be denied, it is also exhausting if this our prominent way of navigating life.
What if we had the space to lay all of this to Rest just for a while, allowing it to come and go like the clouds in the sky? Instead of being caught inside the clouds, we could feel the space through which they move. We could begin to open to the fullness of the moment and our direct experience by way of sensations and vibration. For moments or more, we might open to the Simplicity of just this. Just Being. This is not something that we can strive toward or try to think our way into. That only perpetuates the narrow and constricted conditioning. Instead we avail ourselves to moments of Being, feeling and sensing our way into Life beneath the complexity and conditioning. These moments and spaces allow us to return to our natural state: open, undirected and uncontrived.
When we emerge back into life, we may carry insights that were otherwise not available through the thinking mind. We may feel a fresh and new relationship to the very same situations and people. This can arise quickly or even days, weeks, months later. I’ll share an example of this from my walk early this morning. I stepped into the crisp morning air caught in a mind full of things to do and stories about the week’s unfolding. Several minutes into my walk, my attention opened to the gentle rush of cool air across my skin, warm sun upon my face. My eyes caught the vibrant, green leaves on the trees, not just seeing, but also feeling. These same trees just weeks prior were barren. My whole body began to fill with vibration, and for some moments I was available to the simplicity and the beauty of life. I returned to my house not feeling as limited for time, nor feeling the urgency of my to do’s. I knew they would get done, and even if not, things would likely be fine. I felt open and free, at least for a while.
If this resonates, I encourage you to allow for spaces in your day, brief pauses between tasks, between arriving and leaving work, or dropping off children. Allow these moments to give you the opportunity to return to the simplicity of Being and aliveness of Life. If you are interested in more of this, I will be offering a 3 1/2 hour event at Yoga Yoga North on April 21, 1 to 4:30pm, Coming Home to Ourselves. You are welcome to read a brief post about what I hope to offer.
I’ll leave you with this poem by Mary Oliver.
When I Am Among the Trees
When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”