To Spring Forward, Fall Back

Spring forward. Fall back. This helps remember the time change but can also serve as a mantra for inner work. To spring forward you, to move beyond old thought loops and patterns, we must fall back.  Runners do this, and so do cats and other animals. You must sink down into yourself, gather yourself, allow yourself to see what’s going on.   

The great Zen sage Dogen spoke of stepping back inside ourselves, creating the space to see, allowing events to arise and present themselves so that we can meet them with clarity and kindness rather than reacting.  The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius—whom nobody could accuse of dropping out of society (he wrote in spare moments as he oversaw Rome’s campaigns on the Empire’s northern borders)—prized the ability to step back inside ourselves and remember who we really are.

Making the effort of stepping back and witnessing the workings of our mind is the only way to freedom, according to Aurelius. It is the only way to really connect with others and with society and with the Whole of Nature.

People have the power to create retreats within themselves whenever they wish, according to Aurelius and Dogen. Let’s sit down together and see if they knew what they were talking about : ))

Please join me for meditation and a brief dharma talk this Sunday. 5:30-6:30 pm  Offered by donation. The Zoom link is below.

With lovingkindness,

Tracy Cochran

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