I met a friend yesterday for a dog walk and a Dharma chat. The Buddha encouraged his followers to hang out with Kalyanamita- literally spiritual friends. When I hike with Holly, we talk about the meaning of co-arising or causes and conditions. Rachel is on a journey of discovery which includes her study of deep trauma, Judith has a steady sitting practice and holds her own pain with grace. I am so grateful for these friends who are studying and probing and questioning the causes and remedies for suffering.
I feel that those of you who read here are also deeply practicing and deeply living your lives; with your passions and disappointments and thoughtful investigations into the nature of existence, all existence.
The babies flow on and on. Parents do the best they can to raise their children with the least amount of harm. I remind myself that most of us do a pretty good job. The news cycle is full of aberrant parenting because the good parents aren't 'news'. My neighbors are raising their twin girls with the grandparents living next door. They have learned to ride their bikes under their grandmother's watchful eye. She tells me 'bonita, bonita' when she watches me water my garden. Their little white dog runs from house to house.
When we were done with our walk, Glenn asked if I wanted to meditate in the park. We found a place surrounded by flowers and sat on the grass. Eventually it began to rain, very softly. I could feel the drops in my hair and on my skin. As first I thought we should move or stop but I remembered that the Buddha instructed his followers find a quiet place, sit under a tree and meditate. We could hear children playing in the playground and there was some large machinery nearby but we continued to sit, the rain gently blessing us.
Right now the house is still. The dog is at my feet, the cat is lying in a patch of sunlight. Gratitude flows through me.