Zen 101

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Moon & I

With Palms together,

Good Morning Everyone,

This morning early, say around 3:00 AM or so, I sat outside in the cold staring at the moon. During the full-moon part of the lunar cycle I enjoy establishing this union with our celestial neighbor as we reflect together on one another. The early morning is the best time for such intimacy because there are very few noises, one-to-none cars passing by, and the air is often as crisp as the sky is clear.

As the moon and I consider ourselves, our union becomes more and more intimate. We move quickly past the superficial and enter the world of “don’t know.” The moon: she is wise, she is old, and she is nearly always there. Her wisdom is reflected in her reflection of the sun’s light. Like a pool of water, she receives the light, but does not grasp it. She returns the light to the universe and I, a resident member of that universe, receive it. In my mind’s eye, I return it, not wishing to hold onto such a lovely gift. It is a free and easy play we do and I am happy to be a part of it.

Yesterday I was less than free and easy, however. I was on edge and had trouble settling my mind. We decided to go to Hobby Lobby to purchase more paints and canvases. After shopping, we went back to the car. All of a sudden someone came up behind me and said something. The man’s voice and his positioning himself behind me gave me quite a start. I turned, put up my hand in a “stop” gesture and in a very uncharacteristically aggressive voice, said, “Back off!” The man stepped backward and muttering something, walked away.

I felt terrible about this incident. It reminded me of an earlier time when, trained as a soldier and fighter, I met aggression with aggression, thoughtless and automatic. The poor man was just asking for a dollar. I spent a good deal of time considering my response. The stress of this divorce process, recovering from pain, and the death of my brother all seemed to challenge my ability to be ‘free and easy in the marketplace.’

When sitting with the moon this morning my stressed out world seemed to fall away. I was left with that union I spoke of earlier. A union not only with the moon occurred, bless her, but with the entirety of my world. Peace floated to the surface and all was right in the universe. What I’ve learned, and seem to have to re-learn each and every day, was that to find peace one must only sit down and shut up. Stillness and an open, supple mind willing to surrender becomes, like the moon, a mirror holding nothing.

Be well.

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