Seeing the snowman standing all alone
In dusk and cold is more than he can bear.
The small boy weeps to hear the wind prepare
A night of gnashings and enormous moan.
His tearful sight can hardly reach to where
The pale-faced figure with bitumen eyes
Returns him such a god-forsaken stare
As outcast Adam gave to Paradise.
The man of snow is, nonetheless, content,
Having no wish to go inside and die.
Still, he is moved to see the youngster cry.
Though frozen water is his element,
He melts enough to drop from one soft eye
A trickle of the purest rain, a tear
For the child at the bright pane surrounded by
Such warmth, such light, such love, and so much fear.
Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present-
Note: Over the course of the next few posts, I am going to try to write about – equanimity – Key word being try. Personally, writing and discussing equanimity is tricky and this is where I need your help! I implore you to share your thoughts and insights on this very “tricky” topic. Thank you for your help in advance!
Equanimity is not about being a doormat to others, the world. Nor is equanimity suppressing your emotions, your true spirit. So, what the hell is it?!?
Personally, as defined by yours truly – Equanimity means maintaining mental calmness, composure, an evenness of temper, during stressful situations. There are, throughout my day, certain folks or situations that trigger within me a deep-rooted sense of anger. Which, makes it rather difficult for me to be the cool dude people often think I am? What stops me from choke slamming an ignorant driver? Lashing out verbally at a yoga instructor who leaves a tired class in high plank, only to lament how tired and sore he is? Saving the best example for last … Thinking you are having a pleasant conversation with someone, only to find out they were not listening, enamored with their gadget instead.
I have found equanimity to be my most calming state of mind, especially when interacting with people who rub me the wrong way and push my “buttons“.
If you want to make it through the day with an inner sense of grace and calm, equanimity is going to take you a lot farther than hostility. Let’s play around with the wording … If you want to make it through a challenging power yoga class? Allow equanimity to guide you, instead of being a chump, a whining chump who spews hate and hostility having to do a plank for two minutes.
I know you’re tired but come, this is the way-
Moment of unfettered honesty: Writing and discussing the concepts of Seva, Karma Yoga, Mindfulness and Meditation are seemingly tedious and self-serving. I acknowledged and respect, that I have ‘turned off’ and alienated many of you taking the time to read today, talking about “New Age” voodoo bullsh!t.
It occurred to me recently, standing in line at Whole Foods, scanning the trendy magazines, as I placed a pound and a half of ground buffalo on the conveyor … How I noticeably cringe at the idea of sounding -New Age- Spiritual – Holistic – Whatever. I noticed how hard I work not to be seen as “Whatever” in any way.
The “thing” is, I know what I dislike about the “Whatever” stereotype(s) – it’s not the practice or the flavor of the month yoga asanas that are being taught – but how they are being presented to us. Take a look around you at the natural foods store.
Why is our culture obsessed with outward actions instead of using “Whatever” as a framework of inward exploration? I recall a conversation before yoga class and hearing a fellow class member saying, “I always wanted to learn how to meditate and now that “society” thinks it’s okay – I’m going to do it.“
These twenty words made me pause and think, how the setting within which we are exposed to “something” can be both deterring and supportive, and the way in which we are exposed plays an important role.
There is “Whatever” for everyone.
Seva, Karma Yoga, Mindfulness and Meditation provide a means for myself to investigate my mind, maybe “Whatever” then, is perhaps, something each one of us can benefit from in this “vanity clad” oriented culture we marinate ourselves in.
I’ll settle for the 6 horse
on a rainy afternoon
a paper cup of coffee
in my hand
a little way to go,
the wind twirling out
small wrens from
the upper grandstand roof,
the jocks coming out
for a middle race
and the easy rain making
the horses at peace with
before the drunken war
and I am under the grandstand
settling for coffee,
then the horses walk by
taking their little men
it is funereal and graceful
like the opening