I feel like I'm experiencing some sort of inner revolution. I've recently retired from work with the exception of a one day a week private psychotherapy practice. And I've moved to a new town. And because of these changes there is a new sense of freedom, of space, in each day and in my head and my heart.
With this new sense of freedom and space comes a confusion. How do I find harmony with life as it is and at the same time practice some sort of lovingkindness and compassion for those and that which are part of my daily life? What is this need to fix - myself and others? Is it healthy? or simply another expression of my ego, a seeking of security and control by feeling I know what's best for the environment, my fellow human beings, my wife, my self?
It seems the more I question these things, the more I am drawn into the heart. Or at least I hope so.
As part of my new life I walk to a nearby stream and practice t'ai chi and meditate for a bit. It is such a lovely place. Without fail, I find great quietude there. Mother Nature is so kind. When I first started going I found myself often engaged in two mental activities: wanting to place little Buddhas here and there to bring some sort of spiritual energy to the place and also wanting to see the local wildlife so I could take pictures of them. Deer. Owls or other 'interesting' birds (what distinguishes an 'interesting' bird from one not so 'interesting is a curious distinction in and of itself.) I wanted to leave an imprint of my presence and beliefs and also to be in a sense rewarded by having some sort of meaningful contact with the local fauna. Then something happened. I realized that Mother Nature was getting along just fine spiritually and otherwise without me (imagine that!), humming along rather nicely before I arrived, no doubt after I was gone and regardless of any of my efforts to fix or modify or improve her. I was simply wanting to impose my ego on the place. When I release these inclinations, a very peaceful sense of harmony emerged within me. (This is not to say that Mother Nature couldn't use some support in terms of the constant barrage of pollution, global climate change etc. In fact, I just started clearing invasive species of plantlife from the property where I live.)
While I am in this beautiful place of nature, down by the stream in the quiet of the trees, I now find myself exploring what is my own true nature. Instead of trying to be something, there are times when in this newfound sense of harmony that is directly related to being in nature, I just let what feels like organic natural tendencies come to the surface of my own inner pool. It's quite lovely to find feelings of anuncontrived and immediate sense of simple gratitude or appreciation or love for these surroundings. To find the intuitive ear and silent voice of the heart that is waiting within.
The deer wanders the paths leaving little notice of its passage. The stream follows it's viscerally natural course. The bird with full throat sings its song.
Like the deer, may we wander. Like the stream, may we follow. Like the birds, may we sing.