Sunday, July 29, 2012

if at first you don't find your Zen, try and try and try again...

The day before she'd learned that something that was about to burst with urgency was going to take years to come to its conclusion.  She was disappointed. She didn't know what to do with the news. Simply put she was devastated by this development. She sat with that for a while. She let it wash over her. She was awake most of the night.

In the wee hours of the next day she decided that she needed to do something about the situation; she knew that waiting for years was not a viable option. She wrote a prayer to the Universe asking for what was needed. At first she thought that the prayer was only for herself. She soon realized that it was meant to be shared. She began by emailing it to her mentors, then to her dearest friends, then to her trusted colleagues. This eased her mind a bit but not enough. She was restless.

She rolled out the yoga mat. For the next hour she breathed and stretched. She tried to settle her mind. She reached for her Zen. It seemed unattainable.

She decided that a hike on her favorite trail would help. She arrived to find the park full of middle schoolers. She almost turned her car around to leave but decided that she wouldn't let the screeching children keep her from finding her Zen. She hiked her trail. She breathed in; she breathed out. She inhaled the fragrant late spring air. She passed sourwoods, white oaks, red maples and thirteen year olds.  She smiled and said hello - to the trees and to the children. She also expressed her gratitude for no longer being a middle school teacher. Her Zen still felt out of reach.

She drove to her job. She had signed up for a  mindfulness workshop that was happening that afternoon and didn't want to miss it. To her surprise she discovered that the speaker was a Zen Buddhist monk. How could she had forgotten that? She laughed at herself. She listened and nodded and smiled. Now she knew that not only had the Universe sent her Zen to her but that it would also answer her prayer. Her job was to be patient, to pay attention and to not push so hard.


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