Tomorrow morning, I’m offering teachings on “Steadiness Amidst The Waves.” How does what I notice or miss in any moment affect the steadiness of my heart?
As I drive, I see a man at the approaching intersection selling flowers, his weatherbeaten face crinkled in smiles as he dodges in and out of the street. A few blocks later, I catch a glimpse of a sun-burned woman with sad, red-rimmed eyes holding her battered cardboard up to faceless cars that rarely slow down to hand her a few dollar bills. In the slow moving, eternal stream of traffic, billboards beckon; watch this horror movie, stream this music, buy this cannabis, lease this car, with beautiful models draped over the advertised products.
Turning on to the freeway, palm fronds gleam in the sun, I see heat mirages rippling up from the asphalt, pink and white oleanders happily blooming in the dusty freeway exhaust. Moving fast, I miss the delicate mare’s tails fanning across the ever-blue sky. And yet, with a little bit of mindfulness, you and I can see how everything imperceptibly turns towards the light. Sometimes we can perceive the radiance of dirt and rocks or sense the invisible river of lovingkindness burbling beneath the hard surface of places to go, things to do, people to see.
How do I steady and care for my heart with so much going on, especially in these uncertain times? By accepting life’s endless invitation to simply BE with it all, present as the sun rises and sets. I can remember to look up at the end of the day when, from beach to buildings, this whole town is bathed in rose gold light. My heart can breathe deep, my shoulders relax in the soft blue tenderness of dusk before the sun sinks below the horizon. Can I remember to love it all? The box of Kleenex on my desk, the bright golden cheetos from Trader Joe’s, the pile of books I long to read… Every single thing invites me – and you – to wake up and ride the big waves rolling in from the unknown future. Let’s catch some waves of compassion and equanimity together!