Unseasonably warm for mid November, the day began with a thick pillow of fog that was full of wind blown leaves and little tornadoes of street trash. Coming out of the market, I was hit with huge, slow rain drops that somehow seemed funny and soaked to the skin. But the big rain drops turned into a torrent of rain driven sideways before I reached home.
No way to avoid getting wet, the rain seemed to bounce up beneath the umbrella!
As the morning went on, the fog cleared to reveal great tumbling masses of clouds, with momentary breaks where the most brilliant sunlight shone through, suffusing everything with a deep, gorgeous jewel tone. The freshly scoured trees, leaves, grasses appeared unearthly, as if revealed in perfect focus for the first time, each form supremely revealed.
During such moments, I ask myself, have I ever really looked deeply at this world? Is this Shunyata?
What else do I not have eyes to see?
In the early afternoon I rested, and somewhere between 1 and 1:30, everything changed, again. High, crazy winds whipping rain into the side of the house, the pine trees out side the window, bending, waving, flexing, turning inside out. Everything edgy and hyper!
Tornado Watch, for another several hours!
By sunset, as we attended K and T.J.'s wedding ceremony in a room that afforded a clear view, everything became suffused with a pink glow, with splashes of deep pink along the horizon. What brilliant wedding planner matched the bridesmaid's dresses with the sun's final colors?
And by day's end, all was still.
Perfectly, perfectly still.
Our small mind, our ego self, spends a lot of time fogged in. It's the nature of our conditioned being, of the power of our 5 aggregates, of our inherited DNA.
And like yesterday's dramatic weather and all the changes that ensued, small mind is often caught in a whirl of unintended action and consequence.
But every now and then, ultimate clarity, like the brilliant sunshine behind the clouds, breaks through to illuminate our Ground of Being, our deepest, unconditioned True Self. When this occurs, through our sincere practice or the mystery of "no action", we know beyond everything there is Shunyata.
We can experience "a formless field of benefaction".
We experience Buddha.
A day like yesterday can be a reminder that as Sentient Beings we are oftentimes buffeted about by ego fears and dramas, endless questioning of worth and value, accompanied by an underlying dread of intimacy and deep connection. Sometimes, we are paralyzed by the cloud that seems to follow us wherever we go, when all along, the bluest sky exists behind that cloud, if we can ever trust abiding in the True Self.
Big Mind, the True Self, requires compassion and wisdom, clarity and spaciousness, but since there is no beginning and no end, no "which came first, the chicken or the egg", the True Self generates compassion and wisdom, clarity and spaciousness. When we act from the True Self, we simultaneously create and offer more compassion and wisdom. This is the wonder of experiencing the practice for ourselves.
We can abide in the 4 Immeasurables of Compassion, Loving Kindness, Joy and Equanimity.
The sky clears, we are urged forward toward wholeness, as Sentient Beings, as Bodhisattvas, transforming all in our path, and paradoxically, being transformed by the path itself, that which has always been complete and empty.