Now (written 2009)
It's like this. Like I stepped into a pool of color, the end of the rainbow. Or turned in the midst of walking down a long dark hallway and found a sudden shaft of golden light, or came up from dark, cold water into light and air. The past couple of days happiness is easy. And I don't know if it's something I'm doing or just accident. Have these shifting, troublesome menopausal hormones taken another turn? Settled? In the external world not much is different. Summer is still cool and slow to make itself known though the kids are in “holiday” mode. The kennel is busier than ever. I haven't had a chance to talk to my sister in days and I miss her. Yet, I'm still light and bouyant.
If I'm doing something, it's this: I am seeing suddenly how easy happiness can be. I am not analyzing or interpreting or de-constructing. I am floating in some bubble of “now”. Underneath is a wee wave of fear that I'll “forget” how to do this. That I'll let the bubble settle to the ground and it will burst in a flood of “whys” and “hows” and “what ifs” and “used to be's” and “if only's”. These are too much for its fragile nature...sharp stones of regret, worry and desire. I feel that this way of being has been available to me but I have not been able to step into the color because I was working so hard with my eyes shut. Concentrating and trying to find it inside. I misunderstood the instructions. I don't need to build happiness, I need to be it. And finding it inside does not mean my eyes are squeezed shut. It does not mean working so hard. When I heard myself say outloud: “When did happiness become such hard work?”, it shocked me into stillness inside. Give up the memorizing of techniques, the policing, the effort. I have the teachings and I'm on the path. Now relax. Open my eyes. Breathe. Be. And after a dreadful day of world weariness and exhaustion, I just lifted up and found ease. It was as if I'd been clawing to hold onto something that only held me down and when I grew too tired and sad to try anymore, I floated up into the color, the light and the air that was always there.
Given my nature, the habit of working, struggling to completely understand, I wonder if I can maintain this. But for now it feels so good. On the cushion, be alert. Breathe. In each moment, see and be. And when I feel myself reaching for a grip again, closing down to “think”, stop! I am beginning to recognize the triggers. The jagged edges that lift up toward me...moments of irritation, revulsion, despair. They have a taste and a shadow about them. But if I open up, I somehow move past and through without losing this lightness...this serenity. Interesting it is not by pulling in, by closing up, by fighting the threat. Here the teachings are now instinctive. Why so suddenly? See. Note. Ah! Breathe and welcome but don't dwell and I simply move through it. The threats are phantoms after all, delusion.