Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow Practice

Mindful Bostonians, are you hiding in your house? 
I do recommend going out into the snow. 

Yes, the novelty has worn off.  And no, it's not going to be all that much different from the last foot of snow that dumped on us. But go out into the snow.  Feel the cold yet again, but for this time. 

In December I did a four day silent meditation retreat.  Four days of sitting can be grueling. (The way that four heavy winter storms can be grueling.) It was a Zen retreat, and the tradition is that one person gets up and recites some Buddhist wisdom periodically.  In the afternoon of the 3rd day, her voice echoed in the meditation hall, "DO NOT SQUANDER YOUR LIFE."

I can still hear the echo of those words now.

This is it.  This is what we've got.  Right now it's snow.  It's record breaking amounts of snow burying us, and our cars, and our plans, and our travels.  Don't miss it.  This is your life.  Be present with the snow.  And with any frustration that arises.  And with the pain after shoveling.  Do not squander your life just because your life includes debilitating amounts of snow.