Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Ordinary Living

-At the Desert Retreat House-

When I woke up this morning the very first thought to enter my mind was, "nothing special going on today - just an ordinary day." 

Over the past few days there has been all sorts of activity here in my desert community and in my own home.

Since it was a long-weekend, many tourists came to visit - all sorts of folks hiking along the wilderness trails. Then there was the "art festival" (also crowded with tourists),  and  the weekly "Farmer's Market" in the local town square. The President of the United States was also here in the desert these past few days for some official meetings and "golf" with friends. 

And on top of all that, my wife and I had the privilege of hosting a guest at our home over the past couple days - great conversations, activities and meals together, so filled with energy. 

But today, all that is past. It's all quieted down, and back to the everyday routine of ordinary living. There's nothing special going on today.  In fact, I have a feeling that lots of people may be feeling this way on an ordinary Tuesday morning after a "long weekend."  - back to work, school, shop, cook, eat, sleep - the "daily grind."  

When I went out into my garden for my regular morning mediation, I was suddenly struck with a moment of clarity and with a bold realization that, in a very real sense, there is no such thing as an "ordinary" day with nothing special going on.

Every day I sit in the exact same spot in my garden and do exactly the same thing-I sit in silence.  And every ordinary day is always filled with wonder and every moment is always somehow new and fresh and filled with surprises if I am awake and alert enough to embrace them. 

The pristine air today is scented with the hope of blossoming flowers. As the sun rises gloriously in the East, I look over the Western mountains and see the moon going down in the crystal clear blue morning sky. The hummingbirds swirl around me and the fountain gurgles.  In the distant background I can hear the sounds of gardeners trimming a tree and workmen renovating a nearby house. My neighbors are taking their trash cans to the road - and it all sounds like beautiful music to me. 

It is the symphony of everyday routine in ordinary life - and there is absolutely nothing ordinary about it at all.

As I sit here I recite a mantra- a wisdom teaching of the Buddha.

Meditate. Live purely.  Quiet the mind.
Do your work with mastery.

I take this wisdom to heart as I begin my everyday routine on this day where there is nothing special going on.  

I open my heart and I breathe it all in as I embrace the abundant potential and extraordinary possibilities of all that will be revealed to me on this ordinary, everyday Tuesday at the Desert Retreat House.

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