Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Spring Buds - The Mind and Its Unfolding
How do we know when we see a bud whether it will open into a bloom or into leaves? Some plants go straight to the bloom, drawing in the energy and starting the fertilization process that the leaves will feed throughout the warm season. Other plants uncurl leaf clusters that draw in the energy the plant needs to produce the buds that later produce the seeds to continue propagation of the plant. Each species in its own way puts forth the possibilities and brings out what it needs. But there are unforeseen circumstances! Too much rain, too cold temperatures, and the vagaries of wind and location can challenge any individual bud, whether bloom or leaf.
And there are so many all of a sudden! One day of warm sunny weather and the world around us begins reflecting a burst of energy. It almost seems that the sun transfers this energy directly through its heat! Yet we might walk by the most exquisitely blooming purple plum tree without noticing any of the thousands of blooms. Our thoughts can keep us worrying about how long it will take to get where we are going, or planning out our errands, or replaying the scene we just left. Perhaps one magnolia bloom catches the eye and for one instant we stop to admire this moment of blossoming.
Isn't the mind just like this? Some thoughts catch our attention, so many others flow past while our focus is on something else? Each of us budding and blooming again and again, whether seen or unnoticed, we add to the world around us. How do we know if this bud will be bloom or leaf? Must we attach so much importance and meaning, judgment and expectation upon that uncurled object?
Closing your eyes, imagine a bud. As your mind drifts away from this, just bring your attention back to the bud. As with softening the focus of your eyes, allow your mind to focus on this bud softly. Feel the presence of possibility in the bud along with accepting the idea that whether leaf or bloom, the bud is intact and complete. Allow the bud to connect to all its sources ... water, rain, sun, twig, branch, trunk, roots. Allow the bud to connect to all its processes ... opening, losing petals, dropping leaves, crushed on the sidewalk, washing into the street drains, composting into the earth. Keep your attention on the bud as you allow this broad view of interconnectedness to hover around the bud. It might feel a bit like staying focused on the breath while you are still aware of the sounds of the street, and the general sensations of the body.
Not closing off from the widest experiences of being, continue to bring your attention to the bud. Releasing this focus after a few minutes (5-20), soften your eyelids, and allow them to part.
Perhaps you will continue to see the bud in yourself, and others around you. Full of potential, unattached to judgment and goal, yet fully connected to sources of energy and possibility.