My friend Paul tapped his 6 sugar maple trees on Sunday. On Monday the temperatures rose above 32 degrees for the first time in weeks. The sap starts running when daytime temperatures rise above 32 and night-time temperatures fall below 32 degrees.
40 gallons of sap makes 1 gallon of maple syrup. The sap has to boil and boil before it distills to a fine, pale brown essence that you can pour onto pancakes.
Our meditation practice can seem like this distilling process. We sit 40 times before we taste one sweet insight. Oh!
Another lesson to be gleaned is paying attention to the present moment. The first sap is the lightest and finest. Maple farmers have to be alert to when the trees are ready. Wanting the trees (or meditation) to wait until I am ready only leads to dissatisfaction.
Take your seat now. Relax into meditation. And breathe.