Waiting on Blue Sky

mocha momentsMatthieu Ricard, Buddhist monk, photographer and author was asked how he dealt with jet lag by author Pico Iyer. 

For me a flight is just a brief retreat in the sky. There’s nothing I can do, so it’s really quite liberating. There’s nowhere else I can be. So I just sit and watch the clouds and the blue sky. Everything is still and everything is moving. It’s beautiful.

pico iyerBuddha taught that an enlightened mind is like a vast blue sky without the slightest cloud. Clouds are obstructions that Tibetans call “nyon-mong”, or hurtful emotions.

As Pico Iyer suggests in his book ‘The Art of Stillness’ “There may be clouds passing across our mind, but that doesn’t mean a blue sky isn’t always there behind the obscurations. All you need is the patience to sit still until the blue shows up again.”

How often do we allow ourselves to sit still? Matthieu sees air travel as a retreat…a chance to meditate. In yesterday’s post I was thinking of everything BUT meditation. The Tobago to Trinidad journey is only twenty minutes. For longer flights…we fidget…attempt to read…watch a movie…fidget some more…walk around to stretch. In our heads we’re shouting “are we there yet?” Impatience reigns.

I’m contemplating Pico Iyer’s words regarding stillness:

In an age of speed, I began to think, nothing could be more invigorating than going slow.

In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention.

And in an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still.

We keep thinking that the busier we get the more time we need. Perhaps we should take a page out of Gandhi’s book. He usually meditated for an hour a day. On one particular day he expressed that it was going to be a very busy day and so he would be meditating for two hours.

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