Yesterday I spent time meditating at the gardens of the ashram. It was a holiday Sunday so lots of tourists were present snapping camera shutters at everything, even me. I know how an animal in a zoo must feel. Oh look: a pale bellied middle-aged contemplator! Just sitting there on a bench facing the ocean! How unusual!
At first these tourists were distracting. And then I realized that this place blessed all of them, whether they understood the full special-ness of it, or whether this was just a place some family member made them walk through on the way to the surfing beach, because it is in the brochure of Things To Do.
I saw a man in his forties regard an oncoming flock of pelicans in full V formation. The man spread his arms wide toward them and threw his head back as they flew over him. He got it.
I saw a small family break out a wind instrument and start to softly sing and dance together as they faced the ocean. They got it.
I saw a sullen faced pair of young men, faces down as they scowled along behind a couple of older parental looking types. One spied the otherworldly bloom of the proteus bush and said “Gnarly”. The other replied, “Kewl”. They were opening up to get it.
I changed benches to get out of the sun for a bit. Once established in the shade I saw before me a beautiful bottlebrush tree. Its crown was polished by the ocean wind.
Oh how our lives are like this. We are shaped by our environment. Each of us is unique because of our life path. We are all beautiful. We come from different places, and we are shaped by those places and the experiences we have there. Just like those tourists I saw who had never seen a palmetto scrub and were so moved they were snapping photos. Beautiful. Welcome.