When the decibel level in my home is high and crazy is all about me, I sing phrases like, “Jesus Take the Wheel” as a way to remember to breathe through the insanity around me. I don’t know any other words to that song, so I just keep singing it over and over like a broken Carrie Underwood record. Usually, my kids stop the whining/complaining/talking/yelling for a second just to make sure that I haven’t totally lost it.
A while back, I read the Buddhist nun Pema Chodron’s quote: “You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.” I started using that in place of “Jesus Take the Wheel,” which had begun to lose its effectiveness after overuse anyways. Ms. Chodron’s quote helped me, but then I started thinking about all of the Buddhist teachings; so many of the teachings encourage meditation and thoughtfulness and do you know that I am typing this right now with a baby’s finger up my nose? He just found these holes on my face, and they are keeping him so entertained. I have absolutely zero training as a Buddhist monk/nun, but I feel that typing this with a baby’s finger up my nose should give me some sort of zen award (I know, I know – you don’t win zen awards in Buddhism).
Also, I’d like you to know that Siddhartha, who became an actual Buddha, left his wife and child to meditate and to find enlightenment. Why don’t the Buddhist teachings talk more about that part? He had TO LEAVE his wife and child to reach enlightenment. I am trying to reach enlightenment while staying right here with a baby’s finger up my nose. Now that is something, I think. Now that is being the sky.
I am the sky and they,
I am the rock and they,
I am the tree and they,
I am the grown-up and they are the children.
I am the mother and they are the babies.
I am their mother and they are my babies.
I am their sun
and they are each
and we are each clouds
and we are each rain
But I am the tree.
I am the rock.
I am the sky.
I am the mother.