I had a few tough days at work last week, and I am mentally preparing myself for the beginning of a new work week tomorrow. I know many other people are struggling with the same stress of work, whether they see their job as a fulfilling career unto itself, or as a day job to pay the bills while they pursue deeper interests. There are some startling studies that show the high level of work stress around the developed world. If you click the picture I posted, you can find a larger view of this information. This post is for all of us.
The snow falls around me,
snowflakes kissing my lashes,
tickling my nose.
I stick out my tongue
to taste the cool wetness on my lips,
and I remember the taste of peppermint
in the candy cane hot chocolate
of childhood winters.
I scoop a wet snowball
in my softly-mittened hands,
as the fast-falling flakes
circle my warm jacket
in an intimate embrace
I meditate on the moment,
knowing that, for this fleeting gesture,
this silent tick on the forward march of time,
I am at peace. read more
Legend has it that the Buddha sat under a fig tree on the day that he attained enlightenment. Perhaps this is too broad a saying; I don’t think enlightenment can be fully attained in one earthly lifetime. I believe full enlightenment will take a human soul thousands or millions of years and journeys through multiple spiritual dimensions. At any rate, meditating under the fig tree was an important part of the Buddha’s spiritual journey. This particular tree, ficus religiosa, now bears the name “Bodhi tree,” Bodhi meaning enlightenment in Sanskrit. read more
The wind howled furiously around her, like a pack of ravenous wolves ready to devour the first living thing who dared to venture out in the bitter cold. She struggled and limped through the piles of snow on the sidewalk. Her husband walked beside her, mightily pushing their three-year-old son in his stroller, wheels catching and bowing to the pressure of the flakes, hardened by wind and footprints into biting balls of ice.
The young family decided to try to walk on the street, where snow plows had helped clear a way. Almost immediately, cars veered dangerously close to the child, and drivers angrily honked their horns. “Why don’t you get a job?” one driver yelled out as he hastily rolled his window down and back up. The woman bowed her head deeper as she thought about the years of schooling, her carefully crafted thesis, her pride when she walked across the stage to receive her master’s diploma. All for what? A low-wage, low-respect job with little opportunity for advancement. But “get a job?” She did work 40 hours a week already! read more
I look forward to resting at night. I want to enter the dream world, to visit the place where I put my physical body to sleep, and to awaken back into the spirit realm from which I came and to which I will someday return.
I have vivid dreams in colors beyond the grasp of human words. I dream of myself in the future, with children around me, souls I will guide and teach and perhaps babies I will welcome into my family. I dream of myself in the past, meditating under iridescent trees, staring into lakes mirroring depths of never-ending wisdom. I dream of fighting epic, fantastical battles of good and evil, scaling walls and jumping over roaring fires to rescue people from demonic forces. I learn secrets and explore worlds that I struggle to hang onto when I awaken once more. read more