Last month it seemed as if my schedule blew up. Every week I had three online classes (with homework) and at least three meetings, as well as helping a friend launch her website and a hefty amount of zazen. I treasured each of those pieces, but the sum total was too much. Not to mention I’m retired. Thus I resolved that come August, with the classes behind me, I would moderate my pace and create space.
Unlike my typical monthly practices, this one is nebulous. The closest I have to a ground rule is to decide each morning whether the bulk of my to do’s will be in the morning or the afternoon — and then make the other half of the day as spacious as I can, i.e., free of shoulds.
My hope is this month will resemble July of 2015 — a month I planned out carefully long in advance as I put being an activist behind me. While my primary goals were to rest and decouple from that deeply fraught work, it turned out to be a seminal time — rediscovering myself. I had no agenda. Each day I would simply go where my heart led me. In particular, I wandered willy-nilly into Buddhism. Perhaps my memory deceives me, but the main feelings I remember from that time are a relaxed joy and a potent sense of possibility.
Now I’m nearing the end of my fifth day of moderation and each day has been markedly different. Some have been surprisingly “productive,” some not so much. That any have been as much as they are is unexpected and not required. But each has been spacious in its own way. And perhaps it’s not so much that I’m remembering joy and possibility from five years ago as experiencing them right now. Whatever it is, it feels propitious. And may it continue to be so.