When I can, I've been sitting with a local sangha in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hahn. The current dharma reading is Our Appointment with Life: Discourse on Living Happily in the Present Moment. There's something powerful about reading a book aloud with others, and slowly over the course of several months that brings it more into my consciousness than when reading alone. Two weeks ago, a passage that was read particularly spoke to me, and I keep going back to it each day:
"In Buddhism, "aimlessness" (aprahihita) is taught as a way to help the practitioner stop pursuing the future and and return wholly to the present......to be able to stop pursuing the future allows us to realize that all the wonderful things we seek are present in us, in the present moment. Life is not a particular place or a destination. Life is a path. To practice walking meditation is to go without needing to arrive. Every step can bring us peace, joy and liberation."
Outside on a beautiful sunny day with Calvin and Ezra yesterday, I stood nearby them thinking of all the things I needed to "do"-- craft projects in my head, laundry that needed tending, meals that needed cooking, bills, cars, houses, taxes....and on and on--wondering how I could hurry the boys inside so I could get things done. Suddenly, this passage came into my head as I looked over at these two amazing creatures truly experiencing NOW....picking dandelions, digging in the dirt, rolling in the grass, and laughing with true joy. "to go without needing to arrive"....is there anything that young children konw how to do better than this? I know, it's really quite "simple"...it's the journey not the destination and all that. Yeah, Yeah. Simple to say, so difficult to live. This reading reminds me so much of my children and the lessons that they are here to teach every day, if I can just stop moving and thinking, slow down and breathe, to be present in the here and now with them. What amazing gifts they bring with them into this world--I'm learning every day from my two amazing teachers.