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

Buddhist Icon--Thich Nhat Hanh Recovering in Hospital
Beloved Buddhist monk and teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh (TNH) has experienced a severe cerebral hemorrhage and remains in critical condition. He recently had his 88th Birthday. I surmise that he is, along with the Dalai, Lama, one of the two most readily recognized Buddhist figures in the world today. Af

posted 6:27:39am Nov. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Mindfulness with a Capital "M"
A recent Telegraph column asked if mindfulness lives up to its hype. The author, Polly Vernon, predicts that "mindfulness" will be the OED's (Oxford English Dictionary) word of the year. That would not surprise me. She goes on to give a favorable if at first skeptical review of the practice. Having

posted 12:19:27pm Nov. 04, 2014 | read full post »

Time to Wake Up: Reading Your Way to Awakening
We have been asleep, collectively and individually and there is a growing call to wake up. The Buddha was the first to suggest this change in consciousness 2500 years ago (and as you know the term buddha means one who has awakened). And now there are three books that have come to my attention with w

posted 11:05:45am Oct. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Citizen of the Cosmos
I recently heard Ann Druyan interviewed on Radio Lab. She spoke of falling in love with Carl Sagan when they were working together on the Voyager mission in the late 70s, where she was in charge of developing the content that would be sent out into space for alien cultures to discover. It was a touc

posted 9:59:05am Oct. 14, 2014 | read full post »

The Present Heart: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Discovery
Polly Young-Eisendrath has a new book out, her fourteenth. This is a book like no other that I've ever read. It is a memoir and it recounts events that I lived through as dharma friends of Polly and the love of her life, Ed Epstein. The Present Heart is a statement on the nature of love. It defin

posted 8:41:37am Oct. 09, 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.