An unexpected book arrived in the mail the other day. A gift from my friend’s at Wisdom Publications. Zen Master Raven: The Teachings of a Wise Old Bird. by Zen Master human form, Robert Aitken. Here the koans are told by and to animals of the forest: raven, porcupine, owl, woodpecker, badger, black bear, and […]
Yesterday was an unexpected pleasure here in Northern Vermont. At at time when there can be snow on the ground, it was 70 degrees and sunny. A gentle breeze came off Lake Champlain and the world seemed to slow down.
It’s easy to be mindful on such a beautiful day. Such pleasant weather is out of context. The mountains have already seen snow; frost has not been a stranger to our nights. This out-of-contextness captures our attention in a way that a 70 degree and sunny day would not in July.
It’s easy to contact joy on such a day, especially if you get to spend some time on the beach overlooking the water. Downright blissful is not out of the question.
However, counting on sunny and 70 degree days in October to find joy is probably not the best strategy. This would make mindfulness only an occasional joy, unreliable, and out of reach most of the time.
Fortunately, we don’t have to wait for the exceptional to connect to the beauty that is available at any moment. Mindfulness practice will help to make joy available now — even when it is cloudy and gray, raining and cold, bitter cold.
Any experience can inspire wonder if we pay close enough attention to it, regard it with interest, curiosity, and even fascination. This is especially the case for those experiences we regard as less than ideal, like rainy days.
After a driving rain this morning, the sun is smiling again here on 27 October 2010 in Northern Vermont and I’m enjoying the bliss again, if only in small sips. Tomorrow it will be different and I’ll need to look a little harder to find it, but it will be there. It is always here, right now.