I'm back from a 2 day visit to Shaw Island. Something in me needed the down time; I'm thinking it was a chance to process the recent deaths and the inevitable ripples they've caused.
It was great to be with friends, and great to be in such a quiet space. But great, also, to have a sense of humor about the whole peace and quiet schtick. Somehow the contradiction implicit in this image (the first thing a visitor sees as she drives away from the ferry dock) echoes the contradiction I've been struggling with: how do we carry the peace of meditation back into this noisy troubled world? How do I carry the peace I find on Shaw back into my busy life?
It's easy to get tangled up and self-critical in our efforts to live out the spirituality within us; I'm thinking the best way to avoid that tangle is to stay loose and keep a sense of humor about the whole thing. I keep thinking of the Dalai Lama's smile; wishing I could be that gracious; wishing I could carry that sense of joyful acceptance into all the parts of my life.
Cynthia Bourgeault often speaks of what she calls "The Welcoming Practice," and I think that's a piece that's always been a bit difficult for me. Humor, I think, makes the act of welcoming just a little easier.