Monday, November 20, 2006

Moods Are Like The Weather

It was another quiet Saturday morning at work. I was in a daze all morning and wasn't very productive. Two cups of coffee and one diet Coke didn't energize me. I have been in a contemplative mood lately and throughout the morning I reflected on all the different parts of my life. It occurred to me that my life seems to go through the same patterns over and over. I go along for days and weeks and even months feeling content and satisfied with my life. Then, for no apparent reason, I don't feel content or satisfied. I get in a slight funk where I seem to feel empty or bored. These waves of feeling are like the tides of the ocean as they come in and go out. I don't know why they happen. I think I often feel like this when the holidays approach. These times of expected happiness are not always on the same schedule as my emotional moods. My life doesn't change that much from day to day so I usually try to ignore my moods. Moods are like the weather. They constantly change and who says that a sunny day is better than a rainy day? Both are necessary and they work together to bring about the desired results. When a farmer plants a seed, doesn't he need the rain and the sun? If there's one without the other, the seed doesn't grow or reach maturity. So, like the weather, one must patiently wait out our changing moods. Sometimes, when I am down, something will happen that will cause me to suddenly wake up and be in touch with something deep within that fills me with a new joy and zest for living. My life has been full of such awakenings. I love the surprise when they happen.

We had an early Thanksgiving yesterday with my wife's side of the family. Chloe was lovely in her multi colored tights, denim skirt, and French curled hair.

It is cold this morning. There was a trace of snow on my car. The thought of snow excites me.

Life never leaves us alone. One of the realities of spiritual growth is that no matter where you are, you can't stay there. O, you can be where you are in a zen sort of way but only for a spiritual moment. What we used to call "grace" in the Catholic Church is always prompting us to move on. Why do you think it's called the spiritual journey?

Several years ago I drove to eastern Kentucky with a friend to visit a Zen community. It was not a place where you would expect to find such a community. Slightly off the beaten path, there it was. Nestled among the trees was a collection of log cabins and nearby, on top of a small mountain, was a Zen temple. If I didn't know better, I could have imagined myself in Japan. One of the zen masters gave us a tour of the area. Afterwards we went into the temple and meditated. The front of the temple was open and I had a magnificent view of the surrounding landscape. Hawks were circling in the sky and I felt totally one with everything around me. If only for a brief moment, I was where I was.

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