Raw, adjective: 2. not having undergone processes of preparing, dressing, finishing, refining, or manufacture

Monday morning overlooking my garden here in Lower Nob Hill, and I feel it, that summery ease sinking in on a day that broke clear and blue and warm. Bees buzzing outside and the apricot tree rustling and the streets relatively quiet with the Burners still on the Playa. After a go-go-gadget kind of week here, and a slammin' breathless night behind the bar crashing into exhaustion, I woke this morning still and mellow and oh-so-ready for exactly this kind of molasses-moving, sun-dappled day.

And it's, perfectly, Labor Day. We slow down, we sit still, we sprawl on the beach, we curl up with a beer, or a book, or a baby. And just be, before the waterfall craze of autumn schedules and dates and plans and appointments rushes in. One last glimpse of that elusive dog-day summertime ease.

Shambhala Sun pulls a gem out of its archives today, in honor of slowing down, sitting still, being here, now, enough. Read Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche's piece, "Slow Down, You Move Too Fast," and in it find balm for the constant rushing, a reminder that we accomplish more when we slow the racing mind and just focus on the putting one foot in front of the other:
When we speed around, are we mastering our life or hanging on for dear life? Mastering our life comes from the ability to be content with life as it unfolds. The first step is recognizing that we can be happy and at peace. Wanting to be anywhere but where we are, doing anything but what we’re doing, are unnecessary moves that throw us off balance. We can develop patience, which means not being so aggressive with our life. We don’t have to buy into speed’s game plan. We can slow down. Eating more doesn’t necessarily make the food more delicious. Getting angry over traffic doesn’t make it move faster.

The practice of meditation offers us the opportunity to slow down for a short time every day. This is how we can begin to step out of the cycle of speed. In sitting still and focusing our mind, we are declaring daily that this human life is precious. Taking time to appreciate it comes from our own determination and wisdom. Through this discipline, we simplify our life. We regain the space to appreciate it, having lost nothing but speediness. We learn how to float aloft, carried by the winds, appreciating what we see in every direction. We learn to relax.
An apt reminder on this culturally-sanctioned day of rest. Savor the moments today. They blow by so quickly.

Slow Down, You Move Too Fast (Shambhala Sun)


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