March 3, 2011

Happy Worst Day of the Year!

Today is Don Day: the dregs of the last Tibetan year, when it’s best to do less, meditate, do some spring cleaning, and avoid travel.

Dön Season: It’s Big Me vs Little Me! ~ Elaine Logan.

Big Me is enlightened mind, like the open sky, or the sun itself.

Little Me folds up into a small space and sees no options. According to Tibetan Buddhist thought, it’s particularly easy to fall into the trap of Little Me during the Dön Season—the time just before the Eastern New Year, each year—especially when we don’t pay attention.

Example: Big Me notices the police cars behind the bushes and has the sense to slow down. Big Me doesn’t get a speeding ticket. Little Me is lucky if she doesn’t drive the car into a snowdrift, zooming along, wrapped up in her own thoughts.

Big Me remembers that all of us are fighting our own battles. Big Me is generous, patience even when she doesn’t want to be, and doesn’t expect everyone to dance to her tune. So, Big Me gets to keep her friends—because she keeps her sense of humor, her sense of kindness.

Little me loses heart in a heartbeat. When things go wrong (and in the waning energy of the Dön Season, things often unwind in the ‘wrong’ way, or they can just slip out of your hands), Little Me panics and calls 9-1-1—and everyone else she knows. When things go south, Big Me thinks it might be time for a healthy snack, a healthy break or time to let the dogs run in the backyard. Big Me regroups. Big Me pays attention to the blood sugar level in our brain.

If you think Big Me and Little Me sound like glass half full vs. glass half empty, you are close to the truth…but it’s bigger than that.

There is no glass. There is no Big Me. There is no Little Me. There is only opportunity.

The Dön Season offers us a special opportunity—like being the mother of a teenager: You need to pay attention. You need to be kind. You need to be ready for that rare glimpse when the teenager turns to you and smiles and says: “I love you Mom.”

The teenage years abound with traps, like the words hate and ruin. The Dön Season might not be the time to take hate seriously. Personally, I like to save hate for important things, like my hair.

The teenage years might not have the time to tell the teenager about the poignant moment of their birth. The Dön season might not be the time for great spurts of creativity. It might be a time to wrap well and eat right and keep a weather eye out for black ice on the roads. It might be a time to clear the cardboard boxes out of the hallway and the snow out of the driveway.

The Dön Season might be a good time to clean house, because in the year of the Metal Tiger, you might want to have friends over to frolic with mindfulness in the jungle.

But, we aren’t there yet. So, as my Auld Scots Gran used to say, “Ca’ canny, lassie, ca’ canny…”

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