I had coffee this morning with my old friend J. and a friend of hers, D., who during our conversation named "calming down" as one aspect for him--one good aspect--of middle age.
It's an absolutely normal phrase, of course, but it struck me as so fresh and wonderful that I wrote it down with a ballpoint pen on my palm. (The palm of my hand, that is, not a palm pilot.)
Turns out D. sits zen at a zen center just a couple miles from me, and he told me about the Sunday morning dharma talks. I think I'll go this Sunday. I knew everyone was welcome, but it helps me to have a personal invitation to cut through my inertia or fear. It makes me happy to note the way invitations to life keep on appearing...
Ever since I had that fun awareness of non-being when I woke up in the recovery room this spring I've been wondering if I might like to move beyond practicing thinking about Buddhism to practicing it physically, which basically means sitting down and not thinking, a physical manifestation of calming down.
I think it's funny that "calming down" is such a delightful idea to me at this stage of life. When I was younger, I'd certainly have seen it as a loss, a downshifting of life. Now it looks to me like shifting into a more powerful state--like switching from a flashy, vrooming car that uses a ton of fuel simply to announce its presence to a BMW that quietly gets about its business of working extremely well.
[car ad from Production Cars]