Ten Thousand Flowers in Spring
“Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't crowded with ten thousand things, this is the best season of your life.”
Just this morning I was sitting in my office doing a guided meditation by Tara Brach and she ended the meditation with this above quote by We-Men. For much of the meditation, I had noticed that my mind was more busy than usual and kept drifting off to various things: What I was going to do in the 15 minutes before my next patient, the Comcast bill I forgot to pay, where we would stay the night before dropping our oldest daughter off at sleep away camp in July, etc… When I heard Tara Brach read these lines, I felt my attention focused and my mind suddenly quiet. I visualized my “uncrowded mind” and I returned to watch my breath and noticed the peace and stillness that existed beneath the swirling thoughts.
Mindfulness has been life-changing for me over the past few years and is much of the reason I opened Nao Meditation Studio. For years I was run by my emotions- reacting to people and situations based on whatever emotion would flood through me. I had no concept that I didn’t need to “scratch every itch” (as Pema Chodron says) that popped up nor how important to just sometimes sit with discomfort. It has been interesting, as mindfulness has become a daily practice for me, to learn to observe myself going through life rather than be “had” by life.
I love the fact that when I take the time to be still and to let go of the incessant thoughts which are so often clouding up my mind, I am so much more able to notice all the things each season does bring: the ten thousands flowers popping up this spring, the sliver of a moon Sunday morning, or the warm sun on my face Saturday afternoon. We really only have right now- this season- and it truly is the best one (and only one) of our life.