New moon, new year
And today is the first new moon of the new year.
My enforced winter break is creating quite a contemplative feel. After all my time in Japan was almost like a retreat - visiting all the temples with their sacred space and gardens, and trying to be mindful of my reactions to my experiences there. Followed up by the mindful/meditation weekend on Dartmoor. Topped off with five weeks of not using my feet.
I realise that I have had to deal with the frustration of missing out on the fun of the build up to Christmas, and not being able to be out and about in the wonderful crisp clear days of winter. And not dealt with it too well. Or as well I would like to. But maybe my standards are too high! I have to just see that its easy to water the seeds of irritation in me at times like this. And that when irritation and anger arise, I DO have the option not to argue and shout back!
There is some advice on the Plum Village website about on taking care of anger which I can relate to, having just spent Christmas with my lovely grandaughter and her family :-
Thich Nhat Hanh often compares our anger to a small child, crying out to his mother. When the child cries the mother takes him gently in her arms and listens and observes carefully to find out what is wrong. The loving action of holding her child with her tenderness, already soothes the baby’s suffering. Likewise, we can take our anger in our loving arms and right away we will feel a relief. We don’t need to reject our anger. It is a part of us that needs our love and deep listening just as a baby does.
After the baby has calmed down, the mother can feel if the baby has a fever or needs a change of diaper. When we feel calm and cool, we too can look deeply at our anger and see clearly the conditions allowing our anger to rise.
Now all I have to do, is to do it!!