March 1


Today's Quotation:

There is a rhythm in life, a certain beauty which operates by a variation of lights and shadows, happiness alternating with sorrow, content with discontent, distilling in this process of contrast a sense of satisfaction, of richness that can be captured and pinned down only by those who possess the gift of awareness.

Louis Broomfield

Today's Meditation:

This is the rhythm that I refer to as the "cycles of life."  Have you ever noticed how almost everything works in cycles, from relationships to sports to the economy to the stock market?  We almost never see anything grow continually for years and years--rather, we see things grow for a while, then the growth slows or even turns into shrinking, only to return to growth later.  A sports team will spend years being dominant, winning consistently, then spend years being very weak, winning only occasionally, as other teams become strong.  The stock market will grow and grow, only to come down significantly later, only to return to growth when the time is right.

Our lives are like that, and I think the Zen masters have a beautiful perspective when they encourage us to go with the flow rather than fighting our rhythms.  Yes, it's important to be aware of when we're thinking negative thoughts and when we're bringing ourselves down, but it's also important to recognize when we're in the midst of a certain cycle that may be taking us in a different direction from the cycles we've seen before.  Are we trying to fight something that may be the best thing for us at this particular time, or are we trying to force things to be the way we're used to them being?  Perhaps relaxing and accepting things as they are will allow us to listen to life and life's lessons, something that often is very difficult for us to do.

The investors who recognize the rhythms of Wall Street and who are patient when their stocks go lower are the ones who are the most successful.  The players who stick to their game and don't panic when they're down are the ones who are able to come back.  The people who accept the down times and flow with them are those who know the better days are coming, and who learn the most from everything.  It's difficult to learn from life if we spend our time fighting it.

Questions to ponder:

1.  Can you think of good things that came from times that seemed nothing but negative?

2.  Why might life take us through so many cycles?  What might the bigger picture reveal?

3.  Do you know anyone who constantly fights whatever life gives him or her?  What are the results in that person's life?

For further thought:

When I found I no longer had the stamina to work long hours clearing the fallen limbs in the woods around my house, I began to bring a lawn chair and a thermos with me.  I still work in the woods, but stop frequently to sit and have a cup of tea.  Iíve identified birds I didnít know lived here and evidence that a bobcat shares the property.  Since Iíve slowed down some, I see things I never saw before and find that quiet solitude is not lonely but nurturing, allowing my heart to open to the signs and lessons of nature that surround me.

Sallirae Henderson

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