It is raining leaves on this sunny morning as I sit in meditation looking out the window watching the falling leaves float down from the trees. They are dancing, circling, spinning, gliding through the air before coming to rest in the ravine and our driveway. The pesky cardinal that continually taunts my husband and I, and poops on our vehicles, is perched on the side mirror of Larry’s Escalade. His head spins in all directions as he seems to also be enjoying the same splendor as me.
These moments of silence and stillness in meditation, just staring out the window at nature offers me such clarity and grounding. It is hard to explain exactly what changes inside me, or how, or why; it just does. Sometimes I meditate with my eyes closed, other times a visual form of meditation calls to me, but regardless of eyes open or closed, it is the stillness inside of me that awakens.
I can see why Henry David Thoreau secluded himself in a cabin deep in the woods at Walden Pond for two years of spiritual discovery and introspection. I have always liked my alone time, and that is usually when my creativity comes most alive. Most of my solitude is usually spent near the water in Florida which I have always loved, but if I ever moved to the beach full-time, I would have to travel during Autumn to somewhere that is abundant with fall color and falling leaves. I love this time of year despite the end of summer and the onset of barren trees and frigid temperatures. The seasonal change happens so quickly that nature beckons me to notice her and appreciate her, and so I do.
So this morning, as I sit here with stillness and softness, I start to feel love and compassion swarming inside me. I feel peace, and without searching for it, joy overtakes me. I’m reminded that for no reason, other than being still and silent, these feelings that arise are my being—my authentic self. I still notice my body, my physical form, the tightness in some areas or soreness in others from yesterday’s work, but my body isn’t me. I’m aware of my thoughts, that thinking all the time monkey mind of mine, always planning, learning and doing, but that also isn’t me. That’s just my mind, full of thoughts and ideas. I believe this peace and joyful feeling comes from my soul, and meditation helps me find it amongst all the clutter and chatter. Deepak Chopra describes our soul, “Between every thought, we have a little space. That still presence that you feel, that’s your soul.” When I am truly still, I feel the most as myself, that essence of me, that center of my awareness, who I really am. And when I presence myself to it, I feel a sense of connection to everything around me, my spirituality comes alive, and that is when I feel the most beautiful.
Suddenly, as I sit here enjoying this beautiful day, this beautiful setting and this beautiful feeling, I’m not so annoyed by the cardinal or by the million leaves scattered everywhere. My never-ending to-do list seems less daunting, and I’m left with a sense of wonder, a feeling of joy, and an openness and spaciousness. Most prevalent is a sense of knowing that I am right where I belong at this time, that even though everything might not be okay, I’m okay with it not being okay.