Wednesday, December 26, 2012

the mind of not all or nothing: just see what emerges.

Walking in the light powdery snow, I was bewitched by the transformations, leaves became cups and simultaneously appear as knife-like edges in the snow. Distances in the valley are aflutter with white flecks turning air and space into volumes. Definitions disappear. Here the submerged log emerged with its tinge of velvet green moss. What is the truth about the light snow, the maple branch below or the leaf litter? Can the surface be surface, while the depth is a huge mass of fallen tree, and the snow be falling too?

All bound up in thinking, I bind myself up with projections, goals, memories, ideas. Reaching for the shapes that I think, I practically block any sense of the real. I cannot pretend to give up thinking, nor do I want to do that. I am beginning to see that it doesn't take huge complicated tools though to loosen the tightness of the bind of my thinking. It is like the way I learn not to reach too hard to catch my own hand to bind an asana only to give up on my spinal alignment.  It begins with noticing that my thinking is confining me.

More and more I see how selective my letting go has been. I seem to release this grip, but not that grip. I believe this, but not that. I tolerate this, but not that.  Once I see this personal structure, this selective way of grasping at one aspect while avoiding another, I have the opportunity to be more fully. Truth and freedom, equanimity and clarity glimmer in all the levels of letting go. It is not an all or nothing proposition, like light appearing in the dark. It is always light.

In my snowy walk, the most striking thing happened as I turned to return to the house. I felt thrilled and surprised to the core to see the subtle impression of my own tracks:  a slight disturbance in the powdery snow with delicate crushing of the leaf edges into the powder. This evidence of my own steps seems most marvelous of all -- holding for just a moment all the wonder of impermanence and presence.

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