Snow Dharma

My muscles are whining as snow continues to fall. So much shoveling! But the burning ache is only a sign to stop for a moment and soak in the beauty of a landscape draped in a crystalline white blanket. I breathe in pristine air cleansed of impurities by dancing dakinis in their snowflake disguise. I let my mind settle with my breath. Then back to work.

I help my neighbors dig out of the snow with no thought of reward but it comes anyway in the warm glow of hearts accepting kindness. In days to come, as my aching body does not allow me to offer extra help, my sidewalk is miraculously cleared by other compassionate elves in the neighborhood. This is life in balance—kindness expressed and received without any expectation.

This snowstorm provides an avenue to inter-connection we may not experience in more comfortable circumstances. Helping, even when our own needs are satisfied, extends our mandala. We burn the walls that blind us to the people in our midst—and this purifies our self-absorbed motivation. The activity of kindness purifies the karma of our isolated ego-grasping.

So, we practice snow dharma inseparable from visualization, mantra, and meditation. The appearance of a neighbor in need is the deity/object of veneration. The sound of labored breath is the mantra. The awareness of an opening to express compassion is the meditation. Thus, our spiritual process is mirrored back to us in our response to circumstances.

Now for the big melt!

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