I have been experiencing a lot of change in life recently. I can point to example after miraculous example of how Life is supporting me in this transition. Yet, I am aware of the sensations of stress that change brings. Oddly, even though these changes are “positive,” it feels like there is a need to expand the container to accept/embrace it all. It’s as if the changes do not fit the karma, like a redefinition of “who I am” is called for. And so, I practice breathing, being here in this moment, accepting what is, being with a wide range of sensations as they arise and pass away.
In riding this huge wave of transition, I am in a state of disorientation, feeling the urge to find old, familiar footing to grasp in order to, well, orient myself. And yet somehow I know following that impulse would not be at all helpful. I am reminded of the Guide years ago describing practice as holding onto the cushion for dear life. Yes, indeed.
In the midst of this, practice is my refuge. I can rely on my training, knowing all there is to “do” is breathe and be here, accepting everything that is flowing through me. Perhaps this is what is always going on in practice: expanding the container to embrace the next transition. It seems what that expansion allows for is experiencing more joy. Like Life is saying: get bigger so I can give you more, so you can experience more and more how wonderfully perfect each moment is.
When we first come to Practice, at least for me, the container is so small that the only option that seems possible is to experience Life through conditioned mind. (But somehow we know something else is available to us, which is what brings us to Practice in the first place.) Slowly, as we practice, the container continues to expand and miraculously we find ourselves in those moments we talk about, where we can look AT conditioned mind rather than THROUGH it. And with conditioned mind not taking up all the landscape, there is much more room for joy, for experiencing the miracle of this moment.
I am so eternally deeply grateful to this practice, the teachings, this Sangha and our Guide.