For the past five days, since the beginning of December, I have been lighting candles at sunset. There is something sacred about the action. I don't know what. It's a silent offering. I merely light them and watch them, blowing them out when the time seems right. I plan to do this until solstice.
Whatever we do we should think, “I am doing this to make others happy. This is my job; this is my purpose in life.” From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep this should be the motivation for every action we do. With a good heart, with a mind sincerely wishing to benefit others, our life will make sense. —Lama Zopa Rinpoche
This is what the buddha and taoism propound. Yet it is emotions and attachment that bring us the greatest lessons. How could one live without love? Without compassion? It’s all about the right distance and being able to handle emotions without having them destroy good judgement. Or something like that.
As in, falling off of practice. Once upon a time it was said if your meditation becomes difficult, quit for a while. Give it up.
In my case this is dangerous as it is so easy for me to give up habits. Seems like I'm constantly starting and ending routines.
The Topeka environment is very different from Richmond in so many ways: psychologically, spiritually, politically, geographically, meteorologically. It's been a bigger adjustment than I anticipated. I may have worn out my welcome in the time it has taken me to adjust.
I once had a "This will be interesting" attitude. I have had enough of the interesting life. I now prefer the ordinary life. An ordinary spiritual life, that is. Plain, consistent, ordinary living from one day to the next.
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Why not? Shall I compare thee to a spring day? Or a winter's night? You are all these. And throughout you are my autumn afternoon. Bright. Breezy. Warm. Promising. Relaxed. Blessed.
Some days I feel like meditating all day. Sitting at a window watching the light arc across the sky from sunrise to sunset. Or at least from the time I get up until sunset.
I wonder what this means. Am I escaping ordinary life or flying into a spiritual plane? Avoiding creative expression or connecting to a higher self? Actually, I'm doing neither because I think about it. I don't actually do it. The meditating.
Still, something calls me to a deeper practice, a more committed practice, a more active practice. I am a thinker. I tend to think a lot before doing. I like to be clear on intention and implementation before I begin. I suspect this may be a chicken-and-egg situation. I won't fully know what to do until I do it.
In the meantime, I have a sporadic practice. My standard meditation time is now 30 minutes. I journey once a month for 20-30 minutes. I consult the tarot and exercise my intuition. None of this happens in a disciplined way. It just happens.