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Saturday, July 16, 2011
A River of Stones: July 16
The chipmunk king was standing upon the large bolder below my bedroom window issuing his end of the day proclamation with much gusto to the creatures of his backyard dynasty. It sounded like a litany of complaints to me, or perhaps I heard his voice as dissatisfied because I found his repetition and pitch annoying?
More pebbles from the river of my mind:
I’d been watching short video clips of Pema Chödrön back to back, listening to her teachings, her humor, absorbing her warmth for nearly two hours. The chipmunk's chatter came in and out of my mind-space, much like thoughts, emotions and physical sensations during a seated meditation practice, or any point within a day that one stops to pay attention to a particular moment unfolding. A segment of an interview with Bill Moyers alerted me to pause in watching the videos, turn my awareness toward my direct experience and write down this quote:
"It isn't the things that happen to us in our lives that cause us to suffer, it's how we relate to the things that happen to us that causes us to suffer."
This was certainly not a “new” concept to me, but it woke me up. I re-read her words that I had copied down with heightened understanding, as the sun sank lower illuminating the trees with an emerald glow, the sky gradually faded to a dusty rose, my heart became softer as well. The chipmunk quieted down for a few moments. Was he also considering the wisdom of her statement? (How well do chipmunks hear?) We both sat in silence, he outside, me inside, breathing in peace on the edge of the summer evening as Shabbat approached.
This morning as I share the details of this brief enlightened moment of grace with you, it is evident that there was more than one venerable being sitting in the seat of teacher as yesterday glided into today. Thank you Ani Pema Chödrön. Thank you little chipmunk king.