This Paradise: A meditation

It is easy this time of year to remember that we live in paradise. Corvallis is warm, blooming abundant. I look out my window at the green, purple, orange, red, pink, yellow, blossoms and new growth of the earth. I listen to the chatter of life: birds and squirrels and bugs and humans. Wednesday I walked up the hill to a friend’s home. Two yearling bucks walked right up to me in the middle of the road. We all stood very still, watching and smelling one another. Then they lazily walked into someone’s front yard and proceeded to have their lunch. Later that day I walked out my front door and flushed a moth from the side of the house. As the moth flew away from me, one of the resident house sparrows swooped right in front of my face and caught the moth. She landed on the top of the fence and ate her snack. Every afternoon the neighbor’s house cat perches herself over the vole’s hole in my yard, sitting perfectly still calling the vole out. In the mornings the young squirrels practice flying as they leap from the fir tree onto the roof of the studio and wake us up from savasana.

Yes, we do live in paradise, every single one of us. No matter where you are, no matter the time of the year. Paradise is not just Corvallis, it is this amazing world we inhabit. Listen to it. Slow down and listen. Paradise is all around you, just waiting for you to notice. Paradise is available in this moment. In spite of the burden and pain and suffering and wounds that each of us carry, paradise is here waiting for you notice.

You can begin to find paradise by simply listening. Listen to the sounds of the world around you:

Begin by hearing the sounds of the room your sitting in,
then slowly open your listening
to the space outside your room,
to the building you are in,
to the world beyond your building
soften to find your far distant hearing,
so that you may hear the distant sounds of
ocean, mountain, desert or plains
then return to the sounds of your own body
the sound of your breath
the sound of your digestion
the sound of your heart beat

Rest with gratitude for this moment and for being alive. You are another blossom on the flowering earth. Let yourself be astounded by that amazing fact.