Come, come, whoever you are,
Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving.
It doesn’t matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times.
Come, yet again, come, come.
I thought of these “last words” of Rumi’s this morning as I considered the difficulty I have in maintaining inner practices when in a flare-up. I know that stress is a major trigger, making these practices even more important for my health and recovery. Yet, just when I most need the peace and equanimity of being centered – poof! Instead I am out there, being tossed about by the storm.
Maybe I should approach it as I have walking. Since feeling ill, it has been hard to walk. I can’t walk as fast or as far. So, I made the intention of walking slowly and for just as long as I could, be it 10 minutes or 20…it was still moving and I was still outdoors with the sun on my skin and the wind in my hair and my feet on the earth.
So, with meditation, instead of despairing because I keep avoiding the zafu and the 30 minute sit, I will set an intention to still myself and sit with my breath for just 5 minutes each morning. Just a few words written in the journal, just one or two yoga poses before bed. This I can do. In this, perhaps, is the path to a return to that quiet place that feeds me, that calms me and returns me to now.
All tempest has,
like a navel,
a hole in its middle,
a gull can fly,
14th century Japanese, anonymous