Today I have been in peace like I have not experienced in a very long time. I spent this cool,rainy day in my big orange chair in front of my windows reading in my pj's. The book, Dharma Punx, was lent to me by a fellow Sangha member. It is a memoir that I found a lot of insight and "oh yeah" recognition with concerning my own Zen Buddhist Mindfulness practice. This day also offered me time to reflect on my life in the present moment, my experiences, opportunities and expectations. Was I living my mindfulness practice? Why was fear, anger and worry creeping in lately. How was I dealing with it? Was I "doing" instead of "being" and how was that working out for me? My husband, Paul, was my greatest teacher. He began the practice in his life before we really even knew what it was. He wanted a spiritual path. It is an amazing story, it is to me anyway because I watched him transform his life and find peace. Many of the stories in this book reminded me of Paul and that reminded me of things he would say when things got tough and I or people we knew would use excuses not to deal with stuff. His favorite was "and how is that working for you?" So today I posed that question to myself. How is living with fear of being alone, worry about finding a job and anger at people I no longer have in my life or the fact that I almost died but did not and then he did, how is all that working for ya, Keri?" It's not working for me and I know better. I study to have the tools to deal with these things. I have been through the ringer and for the most part come out the other side ready to begin anew. I have lost focus that it is not up to me. I am not in control and I am being taken care of if only I allow it to happen. I have a purpose in this life and I will fulfill it but I need to let it happen and not worry about achieving it. Basically, I need to get out of my own way so that my life can unfold as it is meant to unfold not as I or anyone else thinks it should. In reflecting these teachings are in my life all of the time. One of my dear new friends and I had lunch this week and she was talking to me about many things but the difference between doing and being was one of those things. Another dear friend and I spoke about my fear of being alone and loneliness. She told me that I don't need to work at not being lonely. If people wanted to be part of my life they would make it happen and to have faith in others. They are both so right. I have been putting my fear based intentions out there instead of having faith in me. My practice teaches me to come back to myself and find refuge and revelation from within. It is the truth. My mind and heart feel clearer now. What gifts I was given this past week and just as I needed them. A book, a lunch with a friend and a night time conversation with another friend were my spiritual teachings this week. We never know where these teachings will come from but we must remain open to recognize them when they happen because they might just change your life.
So, how's your spiritual life and how's that working for you?