Saturday, August 27, 2011

Good Practice

"Mommy, are you sleeping out there?" I heard my daughter call from the back door. My eyes were open; she must have picked-up on the stillness. What is it about sitting down by the chickens that slows my breath and nudges my mind past thought? I watch it come over the kids sometimes...the eyes seeing everything and nothing for a moment as they hold a bird and listen to the sounds of the flock.

The same thing is experienced sitting within a herd of horses, or cows. After initial observation, the mind accepts the movements and sounds as a sort of rhythm. Even the occasional squabble rolls into the pattern. You are aware of it all, but without surface level thought. Could we say it's a moment of transcendental consciousness?  I think time spent with the healthy herd or flock can ease us into this state of relaxation. The dramas of the human experience are reflected in the animal kingdom; we can see them cycle and resolve, but aren't pulled into unnecessary action or judgment. We are invited to share the time and space without attachment. Good practice.
Seven Roosters – Japanese Woodblock Print by Hokusai. Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾 北斎, 1760 – 1849)


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