Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Stalking the Wolf

Finally the wind died down and in my little part of the world at least, it feels peaceful. It's a bright, shining day with temperatures climbing to 32 degrees. Gorgeous blue skies bless me with a happy, optimistic attitude.

During my morning T'ai Chi Chih practice on the porch I glimpsed what I thought was a wolf moving quickly through the woods atop frozen snow. I shifted my gaze, anticipating where the wolf was headed in the hope that the trees would open up to offer me a clearer view. Instead, the wolf moved into an area with thicker trees and disappeared.

The wolf's appearance--and rapid disappearance--reminded me of what I am meant to do in my own meditative practice. Begin in the present moment, notice when distracting thoughts enter my mind (the wolf), acknowledge them, and return to my practice.

In this case, though, I followed the wolf's movements (How unique and interesting!), hoped to get a better look, then felt vague disappointment when the wolf vanished. This fascinating, evasive wolf experience was not unlike my ongoing observations of Monkey Mind: thoughts arise in my mind, they linger and inspire more thoughts and often attendant emotions. These initial thoughts eventually disappear when my mind is again distracted by another thought, another branch onto which monkey can swing, or ... another wolf.

When I arrived at the point in my practice for Pulling in the Energy, I was surprised to discover that I was so far into my practice. With a start I thought: Aren't my palms supposed to be facing the Earth? Isn't this movement Around the Platter rather than Pulling in the Energy? How did I manage to get this far into my practice?

Yep. The mind is beautiful, powerful, and easily distracted. All it takes is a thought hidden in wolf's clothing....

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