The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year of the Dragon!

I rose early this morning, fed the animals, made coffee, sat meditation, made an awesome smoothie, took my vitamins, packed my work out clothes to hit the gym later, said goodbye to the animals, thought of my husband still sleeping soundly, and headed out to work, going over in my mind all the things that need to happen today to get the New Year rolling and off to a good start.
MUCH to do at work!

But the parking lot was virtually empty at work, and it seemed odd that I could possibly be the first one there, out of perhaps 100 people who use that it possible I have another day off?
Is the Holiday extended to include one more day, a gorgeous, cold, windy day at that?
I didn't quite believe it, had to check my work calendar, but yes, a respite of one more day, a Free Pass!

Habit is a strange and mighty Karma Machine!

Thinking it was a work day, my busy mind woke at 2:30 a.m. and began categorizing the necessary steps to optimum output on the first work day of the week: contact the next artist who will be exhibiting in the Gallery, meet with a colleague to discuss new locks on essential Studio doors, plus pass codes, order clay, recycle clay, pug clay (that's sometimes a full time job), check in with another colleague who had a hip replacement before the Holiday, maybe get in a half hour at the Gym, and remember to get the cat to the Vet before lunch....and might there be time for yoga?

Ok, got that all worked out...awake for about an hour hashing it all out, then back to sleep for a couple more hours.

But today offers the Free Pass! I'll take it, with gratitude, and hope that the habit-machine doesn't need to be so fully cranked tomorrow!
Yes, habit assists in my necessary day to day, and without it, I couldn't get to work at all, but must it be so rampantly pushy? Must it interrupt a nice long winter's sleep? If I was somehow paid to organize my work week at 2 a.m. I might consider the benefit, but I don't see the added dollars on the paycheck. Just a bleary eyed face gazing back in the mirror.

The Year of the Dragon....would a dragon be such a slave to habit?
According to Chinese mythology, Dragons were once humble Carp, swimming in the waters beneath a waterfall. But some carp, through diligence and bravery, are able to jump up and over the waterfall, through the Dragon's Gate, where they are transformed into a powerful Dragon.
Habit ensures that most carp swim upstream, it's simply what they do. Some will even jump and fall back into the pool, but only patience, vitality and bravery create the means to finally reach the top of the waterfall and pass through the Dragon's Gate to attain transformation.
The scales that remain on the Dragon are a reminder of its past life as a carp, fully integrated and transformed by hard work.

Habit assists in getting me to work, to the meditation mat, to the Sangha, but what is it that provides that essential turbo-blast up the waterfall, where we are beaten back time and time again, to the very edge of the water's plummet where energy gathers with extraordinary power, up and over and through the Dragon's Gate?

This is probably the question I should be asking at 2 a.m.! A Koan for the New Year.

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