Monday, November 7, 2011

Tending the Root

I attended a day-long meditation retreat yesterday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The commute to get there was another 2 hours on both ends.

The teacher, Shinzen Young, opened by saying that those of us who made the effort to come were tending to the root. In our busy lives, it's so much easier to be distracted by the leaves and branches. Multi-tasking and multi-stimulation can seem so much more interesting and attention grabbing.

Sitting still, doing nothing (well, that's what it looks like, anyway) can seem like a waste of time, when the press of people to text, sites to see, and places to go feel so much more pleasant. So little time; so much to do, do, do.

When we "retreat" from daily life, we have the opportunity to glimpse the arisings and passings of life with a bit of clarity and equanimity rather than being swept along by the winds of life.

In this season, wind is blowing the leaves off the trees. When the trunk and branches of our life stand bare and exposed, where is the root of basic mindfulness that will keep us grounded in the present moment?

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