Day of Rest

This morning's snow, image by Eric

This morning’s snow, image by Eric

“May you awaken to the mystery of being here and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.” ~John O’Donohue

We got more snow this morning. Not as much as predicted, but enough to bend our lilacs over and bury most of the green and bloom. I know we could still get at least one more snow before we are done, but I’m over it — the gray and the cold and the wet and the mud that comes when it all starts to melt.

In a case of auspicious coincidence, I watched a video this morning from Susan Piver about patience. She’s working her way through the teachings of the six paramitas, and this was this week’s focus, just what I needed this morning. She talked about how the opposite of patience is impatience, wanting to know how things are going to turn out and more importantly needing them to go our way. To be patient, we must drop our agenda and be open to whatever might arise.

The antidote to impatience is curiosity, openness with a welcoming attitude, wanting to understand rather that wanting our own way. Allowing, surrendering, placing our attention on what is arising rather than what we want, relaxing with what is.

When we are focused on how we want things to go, we are always unhappy — oddly enough, even when things work out we are discontent. Even when we get what we want we don’t necessarily spend any time enjoying it but rather we immediately shift to scheming how to get it to continue in our favor or to happen again, or worrying about what it will be like once it’s over. We get caught up in a cycle of wanting, then experiencing pleasure (infused with grasping and worrying) if it works out, or pain (irritation and disappointment) if it doesn’t. We begin anxious about what’s going to happen followed by two possible outcomes, neither one really favorable, both triggering a particular flavor of suffering. Either way, we aren’t truly happy. Even in victory we suffer.

Alternatively, we could let it go, our agenda. Relax with what happens, curious about our experience regardless of how “good” or “bad,” not even wasting any time on labeling it as such, just surrender and be with it — the promise of spring, the snow, the blooms and the buds, the mud, the mess and the magic of it. Again, it comes back to the tagline for this blog: Life is tender and terrible, beautiful and brutal — keep your heart open.

2 thoughts on “Day of Rest

  1. ritaramstad

    A needed message for me in this season of waiting to see where my children will be going. Which feels a bit like snow that won’t cease. And yet, I know it will.

    Reply

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