I just met myself

As I walked back to class this afternoon, my head was down trying to navigate through the various substances that puddle in the street. I was also deep in thought, having let thoughts of home, class, practice this morning, etc. carry me away from the present moment. Back in the present moment, a little girl was heading my way. She was riding a rickety old bicycle, two sizes two big, and yelling to me. I almost did not notice her. Initially, her voice couldn’t reach my mind that was so deep in thought, so far from the present moment. Luckily, she kept trying and as our paths came closer and closer I heard a familiar phrase intermingling with her native Hindi words: “High-five!!” I looked up quickly, hoping it was meant for me and that I wasn’t too late to take part. I wasn’t! There she was, heading straight for me, recklessly trying to keep the bike upright with one hand, the other stretched out ready to meet mine.

What a fantastic afternoon, what a fantastic reminder of human contact, love, and moments of pure happiness.

I’m in love

I’m in awe of this day of love. The expression of love for those that surround us is a beautiful sentiment to witness and experience. According to my recent class lessons, one of the obstacles of the mind can be two-fold: becoming attached to pleasurable things; another obstacle is aversion, as a result of an experience of pain or anger. Sometimes, especially on Valentines Day, we may be confronted by these two obstacles simultaneously. We associate love with a pleasurable experience from the past and, according to the attachment concept, want to hold on to that pleasurable experience and live it again and again. We may also associate love with a second obstacle of the mind, aversion, when we have experienced a time in which there was a lack of love, when love is associated with pain or anger. Maybe you have experienced both; I know I have. Some Valentine’s Days I am madly in love and love is abundant. I don’t want the day to end (attachment). Other Valentine’s Days are spent at the bar cursing Hallmark and any couples who dare to show even the slightest sign of affection for each other (aversion).

This Valentine’s Day, I am simply observing the love that surrounds me, in all its forms: the smallest smile from a child peaking around his front door to the married women in my class who are celebrating their spouses from a distance. Happy Day of love everyone.

With love,
Ally

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