Awareness in Season

Up on Blue Mountain,
inside the white cloud,
Picking blueberries,
I am the berry picker.
Without the berries,
I am not.

Bears like berries too
And I am wary.
Who’s bush is this,
Her’s or mine?
This moment it is mine,
But that can change.
How fast can I run?

Picking blueberries this day, I choose the bluest. I make a judgment. I taste a few and judge them ready or not. The green berries get to stay on the bush. The ones already tasted by birds also stay on the bush. This seems so natural. My eyes are drawn to this deep blue color and my tongue welcomes the sweetness of the juice. My fingers are designed to pick and my palm is a natural bowl.

My eyes and my desire fix upon the plump dark blue berries. I am not interested in the green berries. I may be next week when they are ripe, if I am here again. The green ones almost don’t exist for me. Some people don’t exist for me, because I have no use for them this week.  I may leave them out of my awareness, because they  annoy or impede me or they serve some impersonal function. I’ll pay attention to them if they move next door to me or become my boss or want to buy my stuff. That will ripen them in my mind.

An awareness ripened recently. I observed how judgmental I can be. Watching people, I evaluate them. It’s none of my business how most people dress or talk or drive. I’m not taking them home, but I judge them as if I were picking them like berries. It is not the judging that is bad. Judging is necessary for berry picking. The problem is that this judging of people is so often done with an unripe heart.  I judge some young person who has made a wardrobe choice that seems unwise, and I separate myself from them. I make myself somehow better than them. Each time I do that, I become a little more alone, a little less happy.
Observe your own tendency to judge and to devalue people and things. Be mindful for a period of time and observe when you are making a judgment. When the judgment is unnecessary and disparaging just give it up. In its place, offer gratitude and compassion.

"The blue mountain is the father of the white cloud.
The white cloud is the son of the blue mountain.
All day long they depend on each other, without being dependent on each other.
The white cloud is always the white cloud.
The blue mountain is always the blue mountain."

Zen Master Tozan

To the Meditation Archive Menu

To the current Meditation of the Week


© 2008 Tom Barrett