The threshold of another year materializes out of the mist and we take a seat to approach the moment. A New Year gives rise to thoughts on time and space and boundaries and movement. There is a threshold; there is the space on either side of it, filled with stories and matter and hopes and disappointments; then there is the mind we bring to the moment of meeting the threshold. Will we cross? And how?
At my wedding 34 years ago, a friend showed up late, just as we were forming the receiving line on the front lawn of the church. It was a beautiful, sunny day. Our friend screeched to a halt, jumped out of his car, tore off his sunglasses, opened his arms, and shouted to the crowd, Here I am!
I remember thinking, This all happened without you, my Friend. Where have you been?
I like to watch my feet cross a threshold. I like the ceremony of entering and exiting. I like the pause, the internal focus of the downward glance. Head, heart, feet. The habit reminds me to slow down and consider the change of space and company. I remind myself to feel. I am approaching something already in progress when I cross the threshold, even if no one is on the other side.
At the reception desk at Grace, I have the honor of observing people as they come through the door. For a teacher, this moment of connection provides valuable information. Much of teaching is a matter of seeing. What a teacher sees when that door opens may inform the whole class, though few students or even teachers realize this. There is no judgment, only observation. I trust that what I observe at the desk will collect itself and direct a class for the benefit of all of us.
Most of us would rather not think about how the accumulation of moments in our lives creates our future, but it does. If you want to know where you are going, look at where you are. Look at your feet. And, by the way, are you grateful?
I wish that I may approach the threshold of a “new” year as if approaching something for the first time (I am); I wish that I may bring a free and liberated mind to this crossing, one unburdened by sorrow or pain or longing; I wish that I may receive what is already happening on the other side, my future, with enthusiasm and joy.
What lies on the other side is unknown. The mind we bring with us into the unknown determines our experience. The approach matters.
Salutations to my sweet Guruji,