My son pointed out that the view from the decks is like the view from our home. We have native oaks and a redwood tree. In front of our house, a Japanese garden rises in the softness of winter light. Our maple trees are bare, gentle in mobilizing new buds and leaves.
Right now, many of us are pulled outside by the pounding and screeching of news, both factual and otherwise. I believe sometimes we need to pause and look at what is right here. For me, as I write this, it is early morning and the sky is coming to light. My insides feel rosy with absorption as I continue to digest food from The Bywater, a restaurant visit to New Orleans. In this moment, I am content with time to reflect. It is Saturday, and according to the Chinese calendar, it is a new year, the year of the rooster, the sign of dawn and awakening.
Meditating this morning, I found myself focused on a round green light shining through my partially closed eyes. I realized it was the light of my computer informing me it was fully charged, but somehow what I saw and felt was that it was a star. A star. I thought of how what I perceive as a star in the sky might be a galaxy or a herd of galaxies. I thought of how my computer connects me to galaxies of knowledge and people. My circuits flow with thanks.
Yesterday my son requested he would like to see more personal reports on Facebook and less political rants. In that light, I share that I like to view my personal history as one of assimilation. I fully claim my small percentage of Neanderthal ancestry. In addition I claim my integration of East and West. My study of sensory awareness comes from Germany. My first teacher of sensory awareness, Charlotte Selver, had to leave Germany because she was Jewish, and Hitler in his insatiable need to rise to power by creating and denouncing an “other” was out to destroy diversity. My study of Buddhism comes from Asia. For me, Buddhism is an invitation to enter a land and world of same-same, and that allows me, at times, to disengage from a society driven by consumerism and the need to compare. I understand the word “great” has no meaning. Neither does the word “huge”.
That brings me back to Hakone Gardens and the sawing of wood to renew a gift shop. My intention these days is to allow the wood of my upbringing to spread apart like sawdust to protect and nourish a wider root system that is then reflected in a wider branch system and through that to the spreading and sharing of gifts. My intention is to spread myself more openly and in that to more openly connect.
Today my branches may be bare but I hear the sound of the rooster and other birds as they call the leaves to emerge from the trees, bringing the abundance of spring, summer, and fall to this planet we share. With gratitude, I bow and sip coffee, tea and chocolate milk. I love this world, all of it, and I give thanks for this pounding and chain-sawing that opens us to more awareness of nourishing more parts of ourselves with tenderness, love, generosity and care.
Peace, ease, and Happy New Year!!