We arrived at this jungle school to play with these amazing kids and soak up their radiant joy.  We laughed and screamed and danced and time stood still…  we’d done this a year prior and I could re-tell you how deeply moved I was, but instead just read that post HERE … it sums it up perfectly.

This year, I was left with a simple awareness:   I feel at home wherever I find myself, mostly.  I didn’t always feel this way, I’d let fears and rules and mainstream acceptable context of what should and shouldn’t be get in my way and I’d take into account what other people thought of me to a great extent.. but not too much anymore.

tyler with school kids

Now, I find myself so comfortable in the present moment that I don’t notice or consider yesterday or tomorrow much and I have an understanding of who I am and appreciate it mostly, although it’s a constant work in progress.  This was so evident to me in these radiant children… their lives don’t afford them the luxury of thinking about yesterday and they don’t have much in the way of tomorrow until it happens… life here for them is right now.

This affords me the greatest luxuries of life; a free spirit, an easy happiness, a gentle and deep peace and the ability to roll with life’s punches.  This clearly affords all of them the ability to navigate a rough existence with grace and joy.  classroom

In many ways, I no longer want much else.. just to laugh and serve, if I had to narrow down life to a couple of words this would be it… To laugh and serve.

People tell me everyday they want this too.

I know we’re all searching for it in one way or another— a feeling of peace and happiness and a focused purpose for this life.

What escaped me for so many years was the impermanence of this— even though I’m describing what I feel now, I am fully present to the fact that hours ago, or hours from now, I will not feel this way.

Nothing lasts.

Nothing.

Ever.

Especially feelings.students peace

However, what I’ve sought and practiced so hard to obtain is my center point… the vibe I return to, the roots that sturdy me and allow me to laugh and serve.  As I practice and continue to grow in wisdom and deepen in the compassion, the space of my center seems to widen and although of course things still swing back and forth I find the center point hanging with me longer and longer.  students

This takes work, it takes constant uprooting of the habits that creep back in even when I’ve thought I’ve finally gotten past them, it takes a vigilant and earnest focus on gaining wisdom and widening perspective and constantly discovering who I am now and then now and then now again, since it’s always changing.   For me, it takes a constant deepening and commitment to a spiritual practice.  And most of all, it takes action.. getting out of my daily life and actually living, serving, doing, adding love, jumping in.

 

“If the roots remain untouched and firm in the ground,
a felled tree still puts forth new shoots.
If the underlying habit of craving and aversion is not uprooted, suffering arises anew over and over again.” ~ Buddha

kids

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