Yesterdays’ news, from the report on torture conducted in my name and with my tax dollars (I was raised Catholic and I know how to say, “Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa”) to the report of SCOTUS very badly screwing over workers was, well, horrible. Horrible. I read the news today, oh boy: horrible.
And I’m still working like a madwoman, writing and editing at least 18 hours out of every 24.
Which makes my morning time, sitting zazen, even more important. My first tendency, for a long time, was to jettison meditation and daily practice when things became hectic. But I’m an old woman, now, and I’ve learned, over many long years of early mornings, late nights, long days, and intense pressure, that when things get insane is exactly when I most need my daily practice.
And so, even when I must cross the Potomac and be at my desk by six o’clock, I simply wake up even earlier in order to be certain to have time for my daily practice. Those silent moments in the Winter morning dark are my touchstone, my anchor, the thing that keeps me calm when things gang, as they do when drafting legal pleadings that a dozen lawyers must sign, aft, in Robbie Burns’ words, agley.
Today’s picture certainly isn’t what I look out of my window and see when I meditate in the early morning. But it seems to me to be a perfect Winter meditation picture. I do see the mist and the bare trees and the way that the not-too-distant water influences the land.
Common wisdom is that Winter is the best time to see a garden’s bones. Maybe it’s also the best time to see the bones of our daily practice.
May it be so for you.