Subtlety is big in my mind at the moment: increasing and increasing your awareness such that you can peel back the layers and penetrate the detail and wonder in the everyday. Coming to London post-Sweden, post-transformation and post-meditation, my consciousness of many subtle aspects of London life is acute. This has manifested itself in an appreciation of things that I previously thought ugly or inferior.
* the trees and vines out the back of Gabrielle’s house in Vauxhall are no longer weeds growing amongst piles of rubbish in an urban hell, but just as much a manifestation of the beauty of the natural world as the wildly biodiverse mid-west of WA (though similarly subtle in its appearance as low scrubby heath) or the incredible reefs of the Abrolhos.
* Battersea Park is no longer some poor imitation of a natural setting in which to run and find some peace, but rather a truly inspirational spot complete with water features, massive golden statue of Buddha, beautiful flower beds…and a community garden (guess where I will soon be volunteering on Sunday mornings!).
* The population of this city are no longer a strange mix of freaks, suits, and fat lazy bastards whose main interest too me was as a contrast to the striking physical beauty of the Scandinavians. Instead, as I realised while stopped at on e set of traffic lights, watching many of them go by…so wildly diverse and intensely beautiful in a far more subtle (and internal) way, that I felt like hugging them all.
True, many of them may be nasty people, but even for them, by hugging them and believing in their beauty, perhaps it would help them feel more comfortable with allowing that to blossom in themselves and others around them. Even the people who stole Shirley, and the gang of small, violent children who threw stones at me while cycling to Gabrielle’s from Liverpool station earlier in August. And, you better be aware – just for practical reasons – ALL THE TIME on a bike, or you are likely to be killed. Oh, what a different light this place is bathed in this time around. I guess that’s how you know you’ve grown through travel and experience – not that you can remember seeing many different things, but that you can look at the same things through new eyes.
Which is where the equanimity-thing comes in….remaining open, open, open without interpreting, judging, slipping back into the old habits…as much as you can.
Awareness. Equanimity. Anicca (Impermanence in Pali).