“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”
The above quote from Pema Chodran appeals to me. I relate well to metaphors–word pictures. I know I am not really the sky, but to be able to feel into my mind, having it be as big as the open sky, well, it’s not hard.
Yet, most days I go around in a skyless world, one circumscribed by what is in front of my nose. Perhaps you do this too? Sitting here at my computer with my reading glasses on, I occasionally lift my gaze to look out my window and see flooded gums and clouds. But, more often than not, I’m looking at this screen and into my mind prattle and pictures.
Formal meditation practice is so important in countering our habitually small view of life. When I notice my world is shrinking and becoming worrisome, I know I need to get back to meditating. I need to discover the inner point–the sky– from which I can observe the weather (thoughts, emotions, discomfort). From this inner self, when the weather gets stormy, when hail rains down and especially when there are electrical storms, I remember who I am.
Meditation allows us to travel up above the clouds on inclement days, and observe the weather from a broader vantage point.
The beauty of an awareness as big as the sky is that it is large enough to contain it all–pain and sorrow, joy and laughter, love and loss. But it does require being still long for long enough to open up and open out.
Who is crazy enough to stand quietly and squarely in the midst of foul weather? I am and I have, because I know that’s where I find myself. And, if I just be with myself long enough, the weather changes. The sky is always within us.