Shuba’s Weblog

Journeys of the soul…

the dance of wanting…

on November 1, 2011

I was thinking last night about how our suffering doesn’t really depend a whole lot on circumstance. I know this in theory of course. But every now and then it really sinks in.

Right now, I have the kind of life I would have given anything for, two years ago. I have a lovely family – the most amazing generous man as a husband and the cutest funniest most loving daughter. More than that, right now I have the freedom to do what I want, at least in the short term. Anjali goes to day care part-time and on these days I get to meditate, go for a walk, write, bead, prepare for my basic math class or attend my student meeting. It doesn’t sound like a lot, compared to the job I used to do, and it is all stuff that I really like. New mothers would kill to have time like this to themselves. And then last night, I caught myself complaining how I missed going somewhere and meeting people and doing something that feels more important. (More important than what? I forgot to ask my mind that.) My mind went racing: maybe I need to get a full-time job!

Imagine. Our minds are so totally nuts, chasing after endless wants. Nothing is ever perfect. How can it be, when as soon as we land somewhere, we start planning our next trip!

Clearly, this is the adjustment phase, the one that comes after the honeymoon phase. It’s the sinking in of a new life-style, and the making of different choices than I would have before, and the learning to live on new financial terms. It is only after acceptance that I can get to a place of knowing if this new life is right for me. If the choices I have made are right for now. It was apt that, at the weekly sit last night, the discussion of acceptance came up. How important is to practice acceptance of things as they are, before we find our way to wise action.

The scariest part is, amidst this peaceful livelihood, there is the uncertainty of the future. What will I be doing next year this time? I don’t know. And that uncertainty is hard to be with sometimes. Can I recognize it for what it is? Can I use it as an opportunity to practice being with rather than pushing away what is? Can I learn compassion?

Sometimes, in writing about mindfulness, I start thinking that I know something about the practice. And then I find I don’t know anything. It is humbling. And I start over. That is the beauty of it. There is always opportunity for practicing a beginner’s mind. It changes every moment, every breath. Can we be with this one? And just the next one?

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