Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Breathe In and Out Like This

I hiked almost to the top of a mountain today before I started post-holing in the snow and had to turn around. I met a Buddhist monk on my way back down.

No kidding. He was the real deal, about five feet tall, wearing orange robes, and talking nearly continuously as we ended up walking back down the mountain together because the violet light behind the mountains faded and we realized we were going to be walking in the dark.

I'd like to think I am wiser now, but I don't think I am.

He said so much, I'm still trying to remember it all. He said, "With your son, you'll worry, but don't worry. Be happy. You take care of yourself and he will see. You can't make him take your path. You take your own path. Do your best. Be happy. Meditate. Get peace in your heart so you can go to heaven. It's not just for after you die."

He said, "You worry about your son. Take care of yourself. Walk. Meditate. Learn your weak points. Learn from people, from the world, from this." He pointed to fading light over the mountains. I don't think he paused in his litany to breathe and he repeated himself over and over. There was a rhythm to the repetition.

He said, "Take care of yourself first. Meditate. Breathe in and out like this and feel it leave your head and flow down into your hands. You can meditate sitting, lying down, standing, and walking. You can do it anywhere. Three times a day. Take care of yourself first. Then your son will see your path. He has his own path. He will see you. He's only fifteen. He's not done yet. Don't worry. Kids now don't have the same world you had when you were fifteen. The world is changed, different for him than you know. He's a good boy?"

I said, "Yes, he's a good boy." And he was off again, words flowing like air around me, over me, swirling, repeating, winding around my ears and down my back and down the mountain.

He said, "Your mind keeps going and that's not meditating. You have to practice. Clear it down to a point and put it in your hands. Calm your mind. Breathe in and out, like this. Your boy is a good boy. He's only fifteen. He's not done. He'll be okay. You love him, right?"


He said, "You make mistakes. Everybody is human. Everybody makes mistakes. But if you have a good heart, if you have peace, be happy, you can go to heaven. It's not just when you die. You be happy. Breathe in and out. Quiet your mind. Let the energy go to your hands. Be happy. Then you go to heaven before you die. Heaven and hell are right here."  He patted his heart over and over.

He said, "You breathe. You find peace. Don't worry about your boy. He can't follow your path. You take care of yourself. Breathe in and out. Be happy."

And then it was pitch dark and he was worried about me walking to my car from his. I was fine. I didn't mind walking to the other parking lot in the dark.

I met a Buddhist monk on the mountain and his words flowed around and around and the violet sky darkened to night and stars shone in constellations I'll never know.

He said, "You are a good mom. You love your son. He's not done yet. He has his own path. He's only fifteen. Be happy."

Thank you for listening, jb

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