Thursday, December 6, 2007

'Tis The Season

The countdown to Christmas was well underway as I slowly began to emerge from “retreat mode”. I had to go to the store, for non-holiday related things, and found myself in the midst of the chaos of the season. Most people call it hustle and bustle, but I’ve always seen it as chaos and misery. Happy, happy, joy, joy…Uhhhhhhh! The now recognizable first signs of old habits and patterns preparing to kick in began to arise. Amazingly they quickly faded and I found myself smiling. Wow!

The effects of recent concentrated practice seem to be lingering. So how do I not let it slip away? The obvious answer is to keep going. Why stop because of simply flipping a calendar page ? Since the retreat I speak of was not at all a conventional “retreat” retreat, and one of the primary, and most challenging, aspects was to carry it with me wherever I went, why not just continue? These thoughts kept me company as I stood in line. And stood…and stood. Fortunately the line was long and allowed me time to reflect on a newly discovered willingness to receive each moment as it comes. Or to try anyway.

And so I am stepping back from my imaginary perception of chaos and misery this holiday season. Instead I will see the Dhamma. And I will smile.

May we all find peace, tranquility and wisdom.