I hope my note finds you smiling for some unexpected pleasure that has awaited your presence. Here in India monsoon is bringing lots of life. Especially in the mountains where you are constantly humbled by the scale of nature. It is remarkably green and being so high in altitude you really feel that you are part of nature, even as the spec of existence that we are. Watching clouds move in, change form just above your head from white to grey to rain and back to sun. It may arrive in an earth rumbling fashion or as a subtle blanket of dew on your face. But it’s impossible not to feel the incredible prana of so much negative ions in the air. Then the little landslides remind you that you are a part of a very moving world.
I’m also learning to live with the hefty spiders of the mountains, but prefer not indoors. When they show up we use a glass or plastic container and a card to take them outside. We had a couple in the bathroom that kept returning to the point you throw your arms up and say “fine”. One would return to the same spot on the wall before it disappeared. The next day in the shower hundreds of tiny white spiders came out from behind the toiletries caddy to explore their new world. Yikes! That big black spider was a mama on a mission to leave her sack for maturing.
There was nothing intimidating about the irruption of these tiny white spiders but the knowing that each one of them will grow to the intimidating size of the big black mama. We eventually got most of the spiders out but it helped me to reflect on the fact that we can never see the whole picture of any circumstance. We see it as it appears in the moment, but through the lens of our past experiences.
It reminded me that whatever we feed is what will grow. With our emotions, if we feed the essence of inter-being, gratitude, belonging, we grow joy, contentment and purpose. If we feed our unhealthy attachments, anger or aversion we create perpetual suffering. These hundreds of little innocent spiders represented for me an invitation to look at how I walk in the world with others and myself. They inspired me to be honest with myself and investigate the roots of my own difficult emotions or circumstances. What can I transform before they becomes intimidating or scary?
I just finished a wonderful online course being offered on self compassion through the Tushita Meditation Centre. I didn’t want it to end, the teacher, Lhundup Jamyang was so lovely. She made it super clear that self compassion is not self gratification or self pity. Self compassion arises from an understanding of ourselves and the root of our emotional terrain and actions. Often we give our reigns to disturbing emotions, perhaps because they are louder or more stirring. In pursuit to find happiness we chase attachment. When it doesn’t work out well we chase aversion and this becomes a vicious circle. Nothing exists without causes and conditions and it’s more healing to focus on our actions that our feelings.
The more we work on finding inner peace within a bigger picture of understanding, the more prepared we can be to stop feeding these delusions and afflictions. Thich Nhat Hanh would often share that we all have within us the seed of all thing in our store conscience and that it’s what we water that grow.
The reminder that whatever we feed grows took on a whole new meaning when I looked at this wall covering of young spider life.
If you interested in this self compassion course, it’s available on YouTube with welcomed donations where possible. I give it a thumbs up. Here is the link if you have time. Tushita on Self Compassion
Wishing you much love from India with a lotus and a smile. Keep in touch, I love to hear from you.