GREED and GRATITUDE

I bit into a carrot and an explosion of sensation almost immediately gave way to the thought… I want more! My mouth was full of carrot and my mind was back at the buffet. 

I scowled and then I smiled. 

I slowed down and chewed that glorious tuber until it was mush in my mouth. I marveled at the land, close to where I sat, where it grew. The farmer, the packer, the driver, my fellow yogis who washed and chopped, and the cooks who lovingly, perfectly prepared that carrot, were all there with me. 

I was struck by my greed, and by their generosity. It all happened in a moment. 

Am I greedy? Am I grateful? 

I am not so simple. 

I was there, in the hills of Marin, practicing being mindful. I left my computer, my journals, and my books at home in Alaska. I turned my phone off and buried it deep in my bag. I didn’t turn it back on for 7 days. 

During that time I didn’t write anything down, I didn’t take any photos, I didn’t read, I didn’t talk. I was immersed in what is known as Noble Silence. 

It wasn’t quiet. The flock of turkeys, the rustling wind, the resonant bell, calling us back to the hall, and, ALL of the voices in my head, they were there too. I was there to listen. I was there to take time, make space, practice.

I was there, I am here, in honor of existence. 

With this practice, the dynamic of being here is seen more clearly. The tension between greed and gratitude, scarcity and abundance, speaking and listening, movement and stillness, you and me, here and there is ultimately, dissolved. It’s all here. Our interconnectedness is realized. We are not alone. 

The hindrances (as they are known in Buddhism) or obstacles (as they are described in the Yoga Sutras) are recognized and honored for the opportunities that they present. Doubt gives way to joy, torpor leads to ease, innocence fuels curiosity and loneliness encourages connection. 

Compassion grows and grows. It becomes the source of shelter and sustenance that keeps us safe. 

Generosity is the theme for our mindfulness practices this month. I hope that you will join me. We’ll be sharing stories, asking questions, moving and staying still to evoke awareness, together. 

It is not possible alone. If you are struggling… this might be why. Whether it’s dropping into a guided meditation or movement class, scheduling an individual counseling session, signing up for an online course, or, simply reading and responding to posts online, these are all powerful ways to support our collective potential. I am so grateful that you are here!

Thank you for reaching out when you can. Thank you for letting me know that I’ve reached you. 

We are generous, we are greedy, we are grateful. May we find the strength to realize the power in these truths and may compassion grow.