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    Dharma Glimpse by Sonia

    There’s a regular walk I take, I enjoy it, but sometimes it’s just a tick list job, a kind of mental and physical health chore. How did these things become chores? I’ve done the walk many times without having the faintest idea where I am or how I got there. Sometimes I use the walk as time for nembutsu. Often I put on headphones and listen to an audiobook to stop the spiral of thoughts. Lately I try to stop at least once, in the middle of the park and check – have I looked at the green? The sky? The hills? Is that enough? Would I like to look again? It’s a huge pull to be able to know if I need to spend longer, if I’m enjoying myself, to understand what I need more or less of. And I suppose if we don’t understand those things, if we are so disconnected, it makes sense that everything becomes a chore.

    One of the things I hope for from the Dharma is an increased sense of joy, meanwhile the job of some thinking parts is to diminish everything. I thus find myself in a mental battleground. It’s exhausting. At some point there will be some light, some opening, some sense of worth (Freudian slip, I had meant to write ‘warmth’)—but it’s not this current point. And I also know what expansion feels like, know that it is somewhere waiting to be found. And it’s better to be in this waiting place, to remember we are always ‘becoming’ as an answer to those parts that are telling me I am being ungracious, ungrateful for all that I do have.

    So, I’ll wait it out and keep moving through my tick list. Have I looked at the green? The sky? The hills? And maybe I’ll take the time to play with words, instead of them playing with me, and beat them at their own game…

    Blue sky, turning grey—
    Below, crisp fields are waiting,
    Hopeful for the storm.

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