Whilst out walking my dog this afternoon, I noticed that some of my neighbours were already putting out boxes of windfall apples for people to help themselves. I stopped and took a few, leaving some for others to enjoy. My senses were immediately aroused and I could literally smell the blackberry and apple crumbles that I could make over the next month or so until the glut would finally run out. It gave me such a warm feeling of gratitude. Nature is wonderful when left to Her own devices and Mother Earth gives so freely, asking nothing in return and is so loving and generous. I love the autumn for the sheer abundance of ripe fruit and nuts that Mother Nature consistently and reliably provides for us. What doesn’t get collected or used gets eaten by bugs and bacteria and goes back to Mother Nature and nourishes Her so that She can produce again for us next year.
It made me think of the Buddhist teaching on impermanence and that all things come and then they go, nothing lasts for ever. We had a glut of 12 cucumbers in the greenhouse come all at once a couple of weeks back and we took them around to all the neighbours and handed them out. It made me feel uplifted, good and happy to share them about and see my neighbours faces light up when I gave them the small gift of a cucumber -you’d think I’d given them a £100!. I feel even more grateful for knowing that some people in my neighbourhood are happy to share their abundance. It also felt good knowing I could collect the apples and cook and freeze them to prolong their availability and share them when Autumn is over with family and friends.
The word abundance means having more than enough, of being wealthy, nourished, fulfilled, happy and grateful. True abundance is being generous and sharing what we have knowing that this kindness is what will make other people happy and therefore make us happy. I like to think that Mother Nature is smiling at us when she gives us such abundance.
How different from big corporations that take ownership of and plunder and destroy what Mother Earth gives so freely and then expect us to pick up the pieces, pay them for the goods and make them rich. The greediness of these big corporations does not create true abundance, happiness, nourishment or wealth to share. Abundance can only be true abundance when what Mother Earth gives is treated with respect and when people only take what they need and not what they think is theirs or what they think they should have or own. Eventually of course, the oil, the trees, the nutrients in our soil, the fish in the ocean, will all run out. Nothing is permanent. But this is not Mother Earth’s doing. This is greed, this is self-gratification and unbelievable selfishness. Having access to what the corporations give us is not freely given, generous, sharing and certainly not reliable. These earthly resources will only be there once and once they are used up they will be hard to replace and much of it will be gone for good.
Abundance for these companies and for us all has become synonymous with having a lot of money. But for the big corporations its about being powerful and being better off, of scratching each other’s and the politicians backs and then leaving the mess for other people to clear up. It is not true abundance, and like the resources they plunder, their corporations will eventually collapse and die. Acting from a selfish standpoint is neither intelligent nor is it replicable. True abundance is replicable, it doesn’t run out, it always comes back– it is recyclable and it is above all, intelligent. Mother Nature shows us what true abundance is and how intelligent true abundance is. She shows how through recycling that we can be abundant in a world that is impermanent.
Peaceful Abiding is about living together harmoniously, abiding with Mother Earth and each other peacefully. It may seem these days that mankind has come so far down the path of greed that there can be no turning back. Fear about what is happening with the climate and with our world is rife. The number of people who are depressed and anxious is astronomical, to say nothing of all the people, animals and other sentient beings who have been displaced. “but we have a growing population and have to feed the world” is the excuse I always hear. If we want to feed the growing population why are we throwing so much food away? Why are we destroying habits, killing our soil, felling trees and dredging the oceans? These methods are clearly not sustainable and definitely not intelligent. The way we misuse and abuse the land and displace it’s inhabitants in the supposed ‘feed the world’ argument doesn’t make any sense. These methods are not going to feed the world. Quite the reverse! They will simply be a short term fix to put money in the pockets of a greedy few! We need to be more intelligent and take a good long hard look at the natural cycles of Nature and Mother Earth.
In order to peacefully abide we clearly have to change our attitude. We need to be intelligent and seek the truth – the truth that is not just a belief or a thought or an idea or another fad. Thoughts come and go and have no real substance – if they did have substance, we would be able to find where they come from and where they go to, but no matter how hard we try, we cannot. The thoughts that flood through our minds are not telling us the ultimate truth – the truth lives inside of us and comes from our innate wisdom, an inner knowing, and arises when we spend time with ourselves and step out of the rat race for a short period each day. Meditation is the only way that we can slow our minds down enough to touch into and reveal the truth that lives inside of us. We all have that wisdom, that hot line to inner truth – the inner voice that knows what is right and what is wrong and what will bring us true happiness and true abundance. That voice can also reveal to us what creates our confusion, fear and addictive behaviours giving us the opportunity to let go of unhelpful habits. Buddhists call this innate wisdom Basic Goodness.
We discover Basic Goodness when we meditate. Insights and wisdom start to arise and we see ourselves and others in a different more positive light. We make friends with ourselves, we relax, we gain confidence, we can be more generous, take ourselves less seriously. It is truly a truly intelligent person who bravely takes the step to look at their minds and meditate because they realise the futility of living in a state of constant anxiety and fear.
Basic Goodness is another gift that is freely given to everyone, we just have learned to cover it over with our confusion about what we think we are and how we think we should be. Learning to meditate is intelligent because it leads us out of that confusion and unravels and peals off the layers of obscuration that currently guide our lives to reveal the abundance, love, peace, wealth, creativity and shining light that is innate in all of us.
Peaceful Abiding can set you on that path – you don’t have to be a Buddhist. We are all lay practitioners living and working in society and have busy lives. Its just that we have proved to ourselves that MEDITATION DOES WHAT IS SAYS ON THE PACKET! So why not take the intelligent route and give meditation a chance?
May all beings enjoy happiness and the root of happiness, may all beings be free from suffering and the root of suffering.
Written with love for all by Christine Jeffcutt