The simplicity of loving kindness… This Balinese man washes his cows with a bunch of “whut” or pig food, as he tends to his rice field. He does this every day. Arises with the sun and simply, gracefully, attends to his paddy.
What is my ricefield? Where is my simple life? It is here. Now. Look closely and you will see.
Step To The Dark Side...
Ida and Pingala are the right and left channels of the body, mind, and subtle body. Ida might be more familiar as the “lunar” or “moon” side of our being, commonly understood in Chinese Medicine as the “yin”. This is our feminine, our quiet, our stillness, our "beingness". The Pingala is commonly known as the “solar” or “sun” channel, with characteristics of being the “yang” energy, the masculine, the productive, the propelling forward, the “doingness” of our being. Our world, and our culture has been spending a great deal of time and energy in the Pingala. Starbucks keeps us in Pingala. Consumerism, capitalism, and consumption are all highly “solar”. They are firey, hot, active, drying, and rampant. And they are part of nature. However, so too, is the Ida. The quiet. The winter. The stillness. The darkness. The depths. The “just being”. And truth be told, we are not particularly adept at hanging out in this Ida energy, and it is all around us, especially at this time. And we feel the resultant tension, no doubt. I hear it in my meditations. It is all around us, whether we acknowledge it or not. It shows up as addiction, lethargy,headaches, depression, immuno-suppression, stomach aches, backaches, adrenal exhaustion, systemic exhaustion, anxiety, loss of purpose, fear, uncertainty, doubt, discomfort, frustration, grasping, and grappling. And these ways of being can interfere with our spiritual quest… or they can enrich our spiritual quest. You choose.
Most people, if I dare generalize, prefer their spiritual growth to occur “on the up”. Seldom do most people take the Hero’s Journey, into their own shadow to really know how illuminous they truly are. We stand on the edge of the darkness, and build a wall around our lightness so that we do not have to “appear” have a dark side, or a fearful side, or an angry, jealous, or frightful bone in our body… and I ask you, “how does this serve your highest good?” Instead, most want to do their spiritual practice, or Sadhana, and to feel good as a result. They want to feel light, better, filled with grace. And they want to “find God” in their practice. This, too, in part, is Pingala... the desire to feel the light, and to avoid the darkness. But there is such richness in the darkness. In the places we cannot see, and have not seen. In the places that scare us and make us quiver with the uncertainty of whether or not we can make it through. Whether or not we will survive intact. There is great power in showing up in your entirety. In being all that you are. Your light. Your darkness. Your Joy. Your Sorrow. And truly owning it. Not marinating in sadness or loss, or fear. Just feel it for what it is, but don't let it become you. Be in it, for a time, and then get on with it. This living... Get on with this living. Living simply, in your rice field, doing your work, living your dharma, your path, and being alright with it, just as it is... right here, right now.
May we experience contentment without reason. For no purpose other than to be content.