‘Courage is the ability to be fearful in proportion to the actual danger that exists, while still being able to overcome it through the depths of one’s character and commitment to higher ideals’ (Dale S. Wright – The Six Perfections)
‘If you are sad and frightened, it is a sign that you care, that you are connected in spirit’ (Rebecca Solnit in the Guardian)
As I posted on Instagram yesterday, these might appear to be contradictory messages, but in the flux where we always find ourselves, especially now, they can both be held at the same time.
I find myself pondering the candy-like appeal of Instagram. I have amassed about a third of the number of followers there in two weeks as I have in four and a half years on here. I don’t think I am ready to give up this daily practice yet, but I don’t want to just repeat myself across forums; so I imagine I will continue to use this to stretch a little – since there isn’t much room for word count on Instagram.
I sat three times yesterday. First up was my 8am session on Instagram: I landed in it a little stressed as my internet had been very fuzzy beforehand, and I was worried that the connection would drop. As happened a couple of weeks ago when I knocked over my water bottle all over my cushion and the floor right before going live, I used my own instructions and the breath practice to settle myself down. It was one of those sessions like I sometimes have at Wilbur where I get to the end not really being sure of what I have just said.
Later in the morning, I dialled in to the Hebden Bridge online sit; it was lovely to see a number of familiar people from around the UK who were joining in, and I think they were mostly surprised and please to see me. When Rebecca rang the bell, I found myself surprised that most of the participants turned around and had their backs to the camera. I stayed where I was, as that is how we have done it on Mondays and in my student group; softly gazing at the quilt of more than twenty different backdrops, and listening to the digital gamelan that was burbling over the noise gate.
I ducked out before they conducted their well-being ceremony, to support my Core colleague in the midday sit, and to sit with the Core device, as part of my effort to do their April thirty-day meditation challenge. I started with their suggested minimum of three minutes last week, because it’s not hard to squeeze three minutes into any kind of day, but I am going to aim for at least ten minutes when I can. Considering how many hours I have sat over the years, it’s not so much of a challenge.
Since the rain had moved on, I got out on my bike in the afternoon, for the first time since last Friday, and it was good to get my body moving, and to feel the strain somewhere other than my lungs. It has been colder than I would have expected for the time of year, and with the general seclusion, it feels like winter is dragging on. Nevertheless, signs of spring are all around us, and, as has been widely noticed, the sound of bird song is much more noticable now that the volume of traffic is way down – which I am enjoying, once again, as much as anything.
We are encouraging plenty of bird activity on our deck.
And we hope the hummingbirds will enjoy this when it blooms fully.
Poppies growing down by the Caltrain tracks at Bayshore.