Notes on a Buddhist path

The Flow

March 16, 2011 By | 13 Comments

My friend David asked me for the second, perhaps third time, to start writing a blog again. It’s been well on over a year since I last posted anything and I suppose I didn’t see the point in adding yet another virtual wall for the scribbles and stirrings and wanderings of an aging woman’s brain. However, I do take messages that come in packages of three as gentle nudges towards what I need to do in the world.

So, another blog is born. As for the title, for those of you new to my musings, suhurat is a word I learned in Turkey and it means, more or less, to go with the flow of life. [Note: the former name of this blog was Suhurat Day’s End.] Great word. It fits so well along side loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity, the four brahma-viharas of Buddhism. All that presents itself is the suchness of things. All we have to do is observe our thoughts around our reality and flow where the current moves us. Easy, right? Well, some rides are definitely easier than others.

I’ve gotten pretty good at flowing over the last few years. I’ve left a marriage and a country. I’ve found new homes, friends and meaningful work. I moved to a new home just a few months ago and for the first few weeks I was riding a non-stop euphoric high. I rejoiced in being in a city again after nearly three years on a small remote island. I re-upped in my love affair with movie theatres, lattes and street lights. And after several winters of chopping firewood, I discovered again the sensual joys of a thermostat. I embraced my time for morning yoga, meditation, and contemplative tea. Each day I would go for walks of discovery through new neighborhoods and take along my meditation practice. Sometime it took the form of listening, seeing and feeling with full presence. Other times I sent secret loving kindness to each person I passed. It’s amazing how many smiles I got back in return.

Lately the flow has been a bit bottled up. The lustre of my new home isn’t quite as shiny as I’m still looking for work. Employment insurance most definitely helps  (thanks be to at least one bureaucracy) and I found a very part time job working with great people, but its not enough to sustain me and my two elderly gentleman cats. My credit cards are maxed out, I’ve sent out over 35 resumes, had one job interview that didn’t pan out and there’s $.74 in my savings account.

Yet every day I come back to the cushion and my practice. And every day I remember that none of this means anything. The attachments, the aversions, all the strings we clutch at out of habit are as fleeting as the word you are reading right now. And when I think of the planet, of all the other beings with their countless struggles I can’t help but witness my connection to it all. Less than a week has gone by since the cataclysmic earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. Seeing the pictures of those who have lost everything, trying to come to terms with the very possible horror of that country falling victim to yet another atomic apocalypse, all of it sits inside of me and I search to find peace in each breath.

John O’Donohue, the brilliant Irish poet, once wrote, “decide carefully how you now can live the life you would love to look back on from your deathbed.” I sit here now watching the bellies of my cats rise and fall as they sleep, curled up and secure. The sun was brilliant today after so many long days and weeks of rain and snow. The crocus are in full regalia and the farmer’s market will be opening in a few weeks. I hear the toddler who lives above me talking and playing and I feel the warmth of words trickling through my fingers. The stir of writing feels so good again. The ice floe is breaking up.

Thanks David.

Image credit: Crepuscular rays with reflection via Wikimedia Commons

Comments

  1. Flow on Tess!

  2. Your writing is fabulous babe, utterly and absolutely fabulous. Thanks for the gentle reminder. xoxoxox

  3. Welcome back. So good to be touched once again by your eloquence.

  4. Here’s too recently looking at you babe…this corner of my dining table misses your loving presence…may we feast on clams again soon! Keep shining your radiant light w/prose, and all your best!

  5. This is an atmosphere I love to meditate in. Your reminders of consciousness help. Someone we both know said “the only timeless moment is the present”, you’ve captured this in your words. Thank you.

  6. Wow, Tess.

    Here you are, in the full, flowing strength of your writing flow. Honest, clear, lyrical. Something in my heart broke up just like that ice as I read this.

    I love, “after several winters of chopping firewood, I discovered again the sensual joys of a thermostat.” Ha! And the whole last paragraph, wow.

    I may have to ask if I can use this in a class sometime… if you’re cool with that.

    Thanks for sharing your magic.

    • Ah, Chris, thank you. You’re an inspiration to me which makes your words feel ever so yummy. Please use whatever lines you’d like, my friend.

  7. I’mn glad you’re writing this blog, Tess. The words flowe seasily and seem free of pretense. Something I cherish and can’t get enough of — or too much of; not sure which. See what I mean ?!

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