Monday, December 19, 2005


During a retreat last summer. I started up the hill to one of the dharma talks choosing a longer path. I noticed a nun a distance in front of me taking her time, even stopping to look at an individual leaf on a bush. I thought, this person is not going to hear the dharma talk. As I started to pass her, she looked at me and pointed towards the sound of a bell ringing, a sign at the retreat for everyone to stop a minute in the middle of what they are doing to get more present. Reluctantly, I stopped, feeling even more pressure now to make up for lost time. In my mind, I decided she probably didn't need to be on a schedule for talks like these. After my minute of getting "present," I speeded up my walk and she was soon far behind. When I turned to check on her progress, I couldn't see her anymore. I got to the Meditation Hall, relieved that I was now on time, feeling a sense of pride. Now I knew I wouldn't miss anything so I could relax and get "present." I closed my eyes and opened them as the presenter began talking. There she was, right on time, the nun I had passed in such a hurry and judged. She was able to be present every step of her way to the talk she was about to do, not worried about getting somewhere in the future.


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