I’ve had a story brewing in my mind since last summer when we experienced a wild yard and observed that more species of birds, butterflies and other wild things appeared than in the 23 preceding summers.
In place of a clean, mowed & trimmed yard, a meadow grew with a profusion of wild flowers and life forms. My meditations on the back deck took on a different flavor.
When I am able to let go of like and dislike, I’ve learned about contentment and joy – about the appearance of life and colors.
Anger, aversion (fear) and desire are truly poisons that obstruct a full embracing of the gift of each breath. These poisons all arise from my foolish and vain attempts to clean up the universe to be just right for me.
At the beginning of this year our son Travis asked me if I get disgruntled by the dark, cloudy, rainy & cold days in Seattle. After pausing to respond, I told him that if I wanted to squander time with discontent over these kinds of conditions, Seattle is a perfect place to practice and hone such discontent until I am perfectly miserable.
This morning after working out and talking to someone about breath practice (Buddhist, conscious breathing, Taoist circular breathing and Kundalini yoga), I set off to meet some friends. On the drive, I felt very happy for no apparent reason. I was wackily happy and it was okay.
This is far better than trying to whack away everything showing up in the mind as if the whole universe were a Whac-A-Mole game where my mind was an iron fist and mallet. It used to be that there could be 10,000 reasons to lack joy and I couldn’t see that the creator of all 10,000 reasons was me. When I am not whacking away at every mole in my perfect garden, a full life appears.
When I saw my friends at noon today, we wound up talking about patience and the value of meditation and mindfulness practices to learn its benefits.
I explained that one of my practices to learn patience was to stand in lines at grocery stores, banks and elsewhere practicing awareness of breath and the present moment. I began to learn to do this during everyday situations and every relationship. During this process and over time, I began to experience the Now – the present moment – and consequently joy.
(Revised 22 January 2012.)
Copyright, Daniel D. Woo
Satiama would like to express our most heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Daniel Woo for his continued flow of amazing articles, for his assistance to and support of Satiama and for his lovely and open heart. We are most grateful for you, Daniel.