Presence in life

Summer expanses of light promote our longing for leisure and ease of being.  And sometimes the contrast of moving from ease to overwhelm can trigger inside very quickly. How might meditation support us with these everyday changes and conditions that unfold, becoming ours to experience, grow and learn from? 

Senior meditation teacher Trudy Goodman, from Insight LA recently shared the story of swimming (her weekly practice) in the Pacific Ocean with a friend on Trudy's 70th birthday.  Seas were calm early in the morning as they swam out, when suddenly they noticed an unusually large swell rising and making it's way toward them.  Quickly they headed in the direction of the shoreline. She thought, a big ship must have created this.

Swimming hard and fast to make it back before the larger swell crested, Trudy's friend safely missed the current, but Trudy did not. She was overwhelmed by the undertow and  taken down into the tumult.  She didn't panic, as she might have. Instead noticed an calm inner space in which the thought under the weight of the swell, “I may die on my birthday,”as a fact enhanced with ease and inner repose.  Eventually the current released her body into the crashing surf and shoreline, scratched and bruised but alive.

Did she swim on her normal days afterward? No, she shared. Presence revealed my vulnerability to these unknown forces, carrying a compassionate consciousness to my newly experienced physical limits.  She shared that she really didn't know if she could trust her body in the ocean again. And that compassion for herself is the courage and strength she needs to trust now.  Here and Now.

Trusting experience to deeper listening, opens both our limits, as well as the unlimited dimensions of our true nature. Are you entering the deeper conversation with your experience?  How and what is Presence revealing to you in your practice of paying attention with your heart open?

“...Leisure is not the privilege of a few who can afford to take time, but the virtue of all who are willing to give time to what takes time-to give as much time as a task rightly takes.” Brother David Stendlrast, Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer