Day 3 of everyday inspiration. Still setting the stage here for a few days, but let's go on the assumption that we don't need to rearrange our life to be open to inspiration. This exercise encourages us to simply be alert to what naturally touches us as we oo about our days in our life such as it is in its suchness. So...
"How do I start?
By entering into profound communication with the reality of your life as it is.
How do I find this capacity, develop it?
By starting with what touches you or moves you naturally. If you are only that, even for a few seconds each day, your life will be transformed and the dynamic of presence will gain some ground with each new moment of full consciousness of this reality. Start each morning with the simplest thing [that you already are doing]: a few swallows of tea or coffee, the taste of a piece of bread and butter, a few steps down the street. The pleasure of one peaceful breath. That is where we grasp the absolute." - Daniel Odier, Desire: The Tantric Path to Awakening
Yesterday I managed to wait long enough to go on my run that it was no longer the sunny morning. I noticed the sky one minute appeared a menacing grey, and another an enigmatic cobalt blue depending on my shifting opinions around the inevitability of rain.
"Ughh, I sure hope it doesn't rain," I mumble to myself as I start off. When it did start raining, I decide to be curious about what cold rain feels like against skin. The pixie droplets pelt against my face. I wonder how the rain feels against the face of the dainty rice paper plum blossoms I run past. Later, when I take a shower, my hands tingle with the jolt of heat on cold.
This is my favorite Q&A from the book Desire since it gets to simple heart of inspiration through cultivating presence in a down-to-earth rather than lofty manner:
Listening to you is irritating me to no end!
Because I have nothing the hell to do with becoming a yogini or a Siddha. There is already enough of this kind of confusion. You talk about things that are unattainable and for me, if I came here, it was to hear about things that are possible for ordinary mortals. I have a job that sucks, a pain-in-the-ass husband, a shitty apartment, a mother-in-law from hell, my car is a piece of shit that keeps breaking down, and I have friends who sap my morale. So make an effort: speak to an earthly woman!
Really look... You wake up... what is your first calm or pleasant moment?
I don't dare tell you!
You mean when you go to the bathroom?
Yes, I like it, I enjoy it.
So we have at least one thing in common.
Let's go on...
After, I have to wait until my husband takes off. The morning is the worst. He doesn't say a word. He only talks at night. When he has left - I work later - I take a little time for myself. I really like taking my shower and especially washing my hair. I get the impression that I am washing away everything. That's one of the moments I like best. After, I put lotion on my body; that's nice too. Then I get dressed and leave for work. There I run into my boss and I shrivel up like an oyster.
What do you think about when you wash your hair, when you put lotion on your body?
I don't know... Sometimes ideas come to me, about work, or other things.
And when you don't have these ideas, what happens?
Nothing... I feel good...
Do you think there is a connection between feeling good during these moments and your peace of mind?
Yes, but I still can't find a cure for this sleepwalking.
It's a cure for presence, a cure for consciousness, that Tantrism or Buddhism offers you. In these moments, you are totally present, you are a yogini.
And what do I do to be a yogini when I am faced with my boss?
How do you get to the office?
I walk. It takes me twenty minutes.
Because I think about what's to come.
Imagine for a moment that you are making this trip like every morning. What do you see?
People who are aggressive and in a hurry, dogs shitting on the sidewalks, cars stuck in traffic, shop windows with things I can't buy myself.
Is the sky still there?
Do you ever look at it? (continued below)
Yes. I see where you're going with this. Do I like it? Is it nice looking at the sky? Yes, okay. It's nice. And even clouds and even rain. I love it when it rains on my face, people trying to get out of it and getting all stressed as if it were raining steel rods. I like the rain, especially in summer. And I also like trees, and every once in a while, I come across a little boy or girl who hasn't been gobbled up by life yet and I enjoy that, and every once in a while, I treat myself to a croissant and it's delicious and I pass by a florist's who puts flowers out on the sidewalk and I smell them and I even get a bouquet for myself every week, and every once in a while young guys try to flirt with me and that gives me a boost, as they say, and the first cigarette, that's good too, but it's not Tantric to smoke, they are only interested in nice things...
There is nothing that is not Tantric...
Even taking a drag off a smoke?
If you are conscious of the pleasure it brings you, of the pleasure of each drag, it's yoga.
So in the end, I might be a yogini?
Each time that you are what you are doing, what you are feeling, what you are perceiving, you are a yogini.
Even when I cry at the movies?
Yes, because you have the courage to go with your emotions.
What do I do about my boss?
What don't you like about him?
Can you find one good thing about him?
No... I don't think so... He's a sado-lewd-crude-yelling maniac and he smells like dirty socks. He has one thing going for him and that is that he leaves a lot to go have a drink, he's an alcoholic.
When he's not there, are you happy?
No, because I'm working.
What do you do?
Photocopies and parcels, I'm not very qualified.
Have you ever let anyone else do the parcels?
Yes, it's terrible, badly folded and badly tied. They don't stay together.
So, you make nice parcels.
Yes... I love the smells of the brown paper and the string. I think that, in the end, I really like making parcels. Are you going to tell me this is yoga?
Yes... I think that you can find a deeper satisfaction in your work just as it is.
Become a parcel-making artist, is that it? A paper and string yogini?
The sky and trees, your boss not being there, a croissant, flowers, a break, a glass of water, a breeze, shampoo, body lotion, unhindered emotion, movies and cigarettes, defecation, and a look from a child or a man. If you do that, you have nothing to envy of the yoginis, and the more you do this, the more your realm of presence will grow, until the day comes when certain aspects of your husband and your boss will touch you deeply, when your own openness will create theirs. But you can also decide to change jobs and to live differently. With openness arise movement and action, with movement and action arises life, with life arises the pleasure of presence to the world.
So in the end, it's not so complicated.
You have the openness necessary to live this experience deeply.