Awareness, Thankfulness and the Monsoon

Awareness, Thankfulness and the Monsoon

We have had a long, dry and drought-like winter, spring, and early summer. It is only recently that the temperature, humidity, and dew point have been rising as we have begun our yearly summer rains, the summer monsoon. Have you felt a sense of appreciation during this time?

This season, when we usually get our most plentiful rainfall, is a gift of nature that provides and transforms a normally dry and hot desert climate into a wet, green, cloud-show panorama, second only to the East Indian monsoon. The grandeur of this phenomena and its ability to bring tremendous winds, flooding, and hail is unprecedented.

We may enjoy the majesty of these summer storms and at the same time we are challenged to call upon our capacity to be mindful, aware, and prepared for both its beauty and dangers. During this special weather pattern we have the opportunity to refine our senses by listening to the first pitter-patter of raindrops on the roof, the rumblings of portending thunder, the darkening of the skies as the storm builds,  the howling winds, the intensity of deep downpours of pounding rain. And with our eyes, we see the sky illuminated with streaks and bolts of lightning, the puddles growing enormous in size until they may turn into rivers, and the sunlit streaks of light, luminescent with rainbows that glorify the horizon as the rapture of quiet begins to arrive and the weather softens. We then hear the chirping of the cicadas in the background. And we cannot forget the aroma of chaparral, the greening of the desert and our gardens and the dampness that pervades the air.

All of this is enhanced by paying attention to the here and now. There is so much to learn, to receive. And we have the wonder of nature’s patterns and rhythms to be grateful for. We are alerted to anything that can cause harm and enthralled by the dance of our senses. Mindfulness, Sati, remembering what is occurring moment by moment is the gateway into fully being alive.

During this time let us all awaken to our responsibility to do what we can to preserve this dwindling habitat. Conserve water, keep your air-conditioning system on moderate temperature, plant new native trees, and help in some way with the invasive buffalo grass. Be a mentor for nature and the environment.

Whether we’re seeking inner peace or global peace or a combination of the two, the way to experience it is to build on the foundation of unconditional openness to all that arises. Peace isn’t an experience free of challenges, free of rough and smooth — it’s an experience that’s expansive enough to include all that arises without feeling threatened. — Pema Chodron

May you all have a wonderful second summer.