We can make simple meditation practices awfully complex, but they don’t always require mantras or cushions or apps, as useful as those tools can be. Sometimes a crackling fire and a scrap of quiet are all that’s needed.
This week brought some welcome fireplace-time, and one particular example came complete with an expert fire-builder, who piled the logs into a complex and beautiful cris-crossing structure.
As the flames crackled away, it became clear that the structure was in peril, ready to collapse as the lower tiers turned to ash. A little pinprick of anxiety lodged in the back of my mind as I silently willed the fire-tender to return, so that it could all be repaired.
Sure enough, just as I reached for the poker in a desperate attempt to avert disaster, the beautiful structure fell into a heap, sparks flying everywhere. A small wave of dismay rose up – this was a minor thing, to be sure, but it had been such a perfect fire, and now it was ruined.
Then, as the sparks cleared, I noticed an odd thing. The fire was even better than before! The collapsed arrangement had whooshed more air in between the logs, making the flames even brighter. It was not so tidy, but it sure was great.
Friends, we are all so carefully tending the fires of our lives, poking here and there even when we know it’s not really needed. We are constantly propping things up, adding so much fuel that there’s no room for air, checking and re-checking instead of basking in the glow of all we’ve created.
Dear ones, this week, let’s run one less errand, send one less email, schedule one less meeting.
Let’s aim to tend just a little less, bask just a little more.