When last I wrote Down on the Farm, my finger had just been diagnosed as busted and since then it has remained splinted 22/7 until last Monday. Now, I can type and write with a pen, I can put my hand in my pocket, wear a glove, turn a page in a book, open a jar, pick my nose, scratch, recommence playing hand drums and… I’ve got an itch to write and I don’t have a clue what I want to say. A lone word keeps running through my head – gentling.
My busted finger has shown me how to Be gentle to myself, slowing myself down at home as I do when I photograph. Allowing natural wisdom, intelligence and compassion to fill me. Accepting it. Allowing self to relax into stillness and silence and maybe most important an attitude of being at ease in the moment.
When I couldn’t jot down my thoughts / feelings /insights / musings and wild hairs I used that time instead to sit mindfully and simply pay attention to that area of the body associated with the tip of my left index finger. I watched the sensations and tried not to label them as simply “painful” but to open to what the sensations I felt in the moment actually were. I became intimate with the space that I (for reasons either unclear or way to complex to go into) know as my left index finger. Exploring the energies flowing through it I found I could indeed consciously send good will to the tip of my finger, and hold it in compassion with gentleness and love. I baby it as if it were more than just a finger and I listen to it and respond as I would with a lover.
Tonight, my left index finger told me to write and post a blog. That it was enough to simply re-start the practice by writing what came and applying a few of the lessons learned…that I am gentle, compassionate, patient, kind, and that there is, as Pema Chodron says, a natural wisdom, a natural intelligence, and a natural heart of compassion we can draw upon – all of us. Some one I met told me that “if it’s not true for everyone that it’s not true – for her either.” I feel the same. She practices Christianity and I practice Buddhism as I know it and her right index finger and my left point to the moon. Two fingers, two people two faiths and one moon. Let us learn to be gentle with each other and with our selves.