The other day I met a remarkable woman, a Buddhist woman in another tradition, who has achieved a great deal within the sangha she is part of. In our conversation, and I must say I could hardly keep up with her thinking it was moving that fast, she passed on something her teacher had said to her. Paraphrasing here the gist was, when acting, in this case setting up a meditation group, three factors need to be in place, the right time, the right place and the right conditions. The conditions and the place might be right/appropriate, but now might not be the time to act. Or the place and time are in place but the right conditions are not. All three need to be in place she was told.
The coming together of conditions, at a certain time and place, includes factors that nobody could have predicted or arranged in advance. The work that comes, the coming together of conditions, manifests in our lives constantly. As it has come to me the work is to be awake to this flow of conditions, to be free to respond. To be truly free to respond. Which means expanding within, embracing and giving of oneself, unfettered by the conditions themselves, both internal and external. When you fall over, how do you respond? When the windows are dirty and need cleaning, how do you respond? When somebody acts in such a way that is not appropriate in the present context, of time/place/conditions, how do you respond?
Our lives have a direction. Mostly that’s not a mystery. The bins need to be taken out on Sunday night so they can be emptied early Monday morning. We prepare our sitting place because that is the direction of our lives. Time, place and conditions coming together, to settle and sit still.
Oh, and I hope conditions come together for this climbing trip which I’m following. Expanding, embracing and giving of oneself, unfettered by the conditions themselves. Good walking, sitting, settling…climbing