Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters


Mud Season: Lessons on Impermanence

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak

It’s Mud Season, a time of transition, change, and promise. The ground is thawing, the grass is considering growing, and the geese have returned to the North Country.

The trails are wet and muddy from the thaw and the rains. As I have written before, the mud “wounds” of the trail are an apt metaphor for how we approach difficulty in our lives. Our tendency may be to avoid these difficulties, to skirt around their edges, but this only prolongs them. The way beyond is through, feet wet, toes oozing with mud.

The other morning, I awoke with terrific ankle pain. Sharp, aching, and deep. It felt like a fracture. Yet I knew it was probably soft tissue. I hobbled for a while and then I fumbled around on my calf and found some juicy trigger points and massaged them to release the pressure. The pain relented and I went for a long run with dogs (no helicopters this morning).

The first few minutes of running are good reminders of impermanence. Often, it feels like I am dying. A sense of dread fills my body as lactic acid and whatever other physiological processes are occurring. I know it feels bad AND only lasts a few moments. It is the death before release into the pleasure of running. It is the gateway that must be negotiated. If I was to focused on how awful it felt, I’d never get to the good parts.

Impermanence is all around when we are paying attention. These lessons are easy to ignore or make into something aversive. Wherever you are and whether you have mud season you can find these lessons. Move toward them and enjoy the wetness between your toes. It may make a mess but it lets you know you are alive!

 



  • http://louellabryant.com Ellie

    My preference: Stick to macadam until mud season passes. I have more equilibrium with that route.

Previous Posts

Transitions Into Spring
The weather is such a great metaphor. Spring is reluctant to arrive. On a Monday it was 80 degrees and then on Wednesday it snowed several inches. The nights have continued to be below freezing and the greening landscape is shy to come forth. We are variations of energy, mood, and awareness. Unli

posted 7:39:13pm Apr. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Transitions, Attachments, and Hope
It's been a long winter here in Northern Vermont and elsewhere around the country. The mountain is still frozen and buried in snow. In the valley, the long buried grass, brown and tired, is emerging from under the receding glacier, yet my yard is still buried in snow. The calendar reads April but

posted 3:02:56pm Apr. 07, 2014 | read full post »

A Special Opportunity for Opening Your Heart in Relationship with Tara Brach
I'd like to let you know about a special opportunity with my charma friend Tara Brach who is one of the more authentic and beloved mindfulness teachers. She is author of the bestsellers Radical Acceptance and more recently, True Refuge. Please read about this special program below. It’s often

posted 8:12:05pm Mar. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Equanimity in the Face of Adversity, Controversy, and Memory
The Dalai Lama recently visited with President Obama. Not such an unusual event since they have visited before, but the Chinese Government used this as an opportunity to complain, threaten, and

posted 7:24:11pm Mar. 14, 2014 | read full post »

Sit Still
If you listen carefully to my meditation instructions, you might detect a contradiction. On the one hand, I de-emphasize the posture because I don't want people to get deterred by the physical difficulties of sitting. On the other hand, I encourage everyone to sit still and to resist the reflexive t

posted 7:48:21am Feb. 11, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.