I wonder if you have ever listened to the dawn chorus, that early morning time when birds break into song? I’ve know times when I’d wished the birds away back to their nests for another hours sleep, for them and especially for me! At this moment I have a CD playing in my laptop of the ‘Dawn Chorus’, A sound portrait of a British woodland at sunrise. This evening I’d been feeling a bit under the weather physically and had been casting about for inspiration. I thought this ‘music’ might help. And it has.
Somebody asked me about ‘pain’, how one dealt with it as a Buddhist. I remember once hearing my Master softly mentioning that somebody needed to understand the difference between ‘being in pain and being in self’. I took a mental note. There is pain, and then there is pain accompanied by self-pity, which goes on and on and…. That’s one way to ‘be in self’. A health professional I was consulting with some years ago said, “Self-pity is an English persons disease”. I took a mental note! It was the most helpful piece of information, not heard as an accusation, and I was able to take it to my heart. I took a mental note.
The birds are still twittering away enthusiastically, there’s a wood pigeon and a pheasant in the distance. A peacock? That can’t be right! Isn’t it amazing how simple things can help lift the spirits and how a chance comment, heard while in pain and not in ‘self’, can change one for the better. Not much of an answer about dealing with pain, however getting things in perspective is a good start. Now I’d better send those birds back to their nests for the night. Time to sleep. One of our monks says, “Never underestimate the restorative power of a good nights sleep.”