Awareness in Season
Up on Blue Mountain,
inside the white cloud,
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?
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. Practice:
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.
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.
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
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© 2008 Tom Barrett