In these days of my retirement, I still have a somewhat busy life, and do a fair amount of ‘racing around’, but I guess I’m racing around more slowly and patiently — more willing, you might say, to good-naturedly participate in the race while letting the race actually run itself. On a given day, I’m going here and there and back and forth, checking off my list of to-do’s and to-get’s, but now I’m running a gentler, more warmhearted race. You might say I’m slowly racing from task to task, and with more composure, perhaps the way sparrows seem to collect their seeds at the feeder with both quickness and calmness. I’ve noticed that the wind sometimes blows on our street in a similar way – rushing among the houses, but in a somehow stress-free manner, doing its to-do’s with both enthusiasm and restfulness. As a senior now, I’m seeing the benefits in that kind of racing around. With my white beard and bald head, I’m breaking new records for getting things done with a cozy and patient kind of speed.
Today, I hope I can rest more often. Actually, perhaps I should say I hope I can realize that I am always resting. This universe that I and all of us and everything belong to is, you might say, made of restfulness. Yes, there certainly seems to be lots of work happening all the time, but all of it always happens in the smoothness of togetherness, the way all the ripples and waves in a river happen in the easy inseparableness of the single, always relaxed river. No matter what might happen in my life today, it will happen in the present, and, since there are no boundaries to the present (it’s always here, with no end), there are no edges for actions to bump into. Like an endless ocean, the present simply rolls and flows in inseparable friendship, and thus all that happens in the present happens in smoothness and fellowship. Yes, what happens might seem difficult and even horrible, but that’s because I’m viewing it from afar, the way an ocean can seem roiled and whipped when seen from a distance. Viewed close-up, from the eyes of a small, smoothly swimming fish, even the stormiest ocean is still a calming home. The fish ‘flows with the flow’, and thus finds rest even in the midst of severely tossed waters.
Today, no matter what happens, I hope I can feel the boundless comfort of the immeasurable present moment. Then, the hardest – even the saddest – work can seem full of rest and peacefulness.