It’s May Day.
I have no real tradition to follow on this day. As a young child it was all about picking flowers, leaving them on doorsteps, ringing the bell and running away. Simpler times. I miss those days sometimes. No responsibility, no stress, just a true beginners mind.
I’ve been listening to The Zen of Therapy. It started a little slow but now I’m hooked. Part memoir, part reflection, part deep dive into the psyche. The fact that he gives more than a passing nod to both Ram Dass and John Cage draws me in even deeper.
Driving to the refuge this morning in light traffic with a really good coffee should have been enough. But then there was talk about the ten fetters, the cultivation of benevolence and even the constant calibration we do in our lives when we believe others are always doing better than we are. The author shares real life stories to bring home his points. Even when the stories are technically nothing like my own, there is something familiar in how they come to solution. Or acceptance. Or peace.
When I first chose a practice of meditation, I used John Cage as my inspiration. His brilliant 4’33” was where I began. Four minutes and 33 seconds of just being. It was a humble beginning. One of his initial inspirations was Robert Rauschenberg’s series of white (blank) canvases in 1951. As the canvas showed light and shadow of the room and those viewing it, so the three-movement piece by Cage held the sound of life as it happened, different in each performance. All sound is music and all light and shadow, art.
I don’t know why I’m telling you this, other than I love it, and I was reminded of both these things as I drove today.
At the refuge I walked with friends that I have missed. The birds were awake and alive and I felt the oddly familiar sense that I was home. It occurs to me that, this too, is a practice. On my bad days I remember how much I have learned on these walks. Patience, attentiveness and reverence. Thanks for coming along. I hope you never tire of seeing the birds. I can’t imagine not sharing them with you.
Blue Sky Church.
It’s a thing.