I always plan to meditate in the morning before going onto my phone, laptop or iPad. That way, I find the middle before being pulled in any of the other four directions. I once heard someone say that they had never met a day that could not start 20 minutes earlier — which is to say, there is always time for mindfulness, reflection, writing, drawing, centering. I imagine my busy mind climbing into the arms of Jizo’s grounding nature and then… I listen.
The other morning in meditation I realized that I often focus my attention on the very top of a huge pine tree outside my studio window. It seems a rather Ansel Adams image, a heroic thing unfolding up into the sky in the midst of Los Angeles.
Nearly every morning, a crow soars across the sky and lands atop the highest point of the pine. The tree bends a little under the weight of the bird. Sometimes another crow comes and chases it off. For seven years, I have watched the top of this tree.
Today, I saw something new while hoping for a glimpse of The Middle Way. I was wondering about moderation, on right livelihood without expectations, on inspiration without pressure, on not forcing creativity but allowing and awarenessing the vast hard-drive of the universe that is often accessible to me when I have patience. I saw a new teacher.
I saw a crow fly into the middle of the tree and alight on a strong branch that did not bend.
For that, I am grateful.