I had the fortune of spending the last few weeks in San Miguel de Allende, my second home, an almost 500 year old town at the very center of Mexico on a high plateau.Surrounded by vibrant colors, awe inspiring architecture, magical court yards and blooming plants with the backdrop of a joyful symphony of birdsong and mild spring temperatures I fell into a different space. Let me rephrase that :I committed to “fall into a different space”.I realized that to ” fall into a different space” requires not only the right place and availability of time, but also takes some skillful means and intention. Pausing requires the resetting of the inner compass to allow new rhythms and spaces to emerge.

My intentions included :

To quiet my planning mind: Not making plans other than committing to my morning contemplative practice allowed me to meander into the day and open to what spontaneously arose: a leisurely chat with a neighbor ( also due to my very tentative Spanish skills:); spontaneously going down a street never explored before and find a beautiful mural,  sitting on a bench and watch egrets above me collecting branches making their spring nests…

Take vey few photographs and not buy things (unless truly necessary) One of the contemplative practices that I like to connect to is to notice the ” the grasping mind” and staying with the awareness of impermanence. Enjoying a beautiful view or object does not mean that I need to own it ( buy it) or hang on to it ( photograph it)….

Reduce my wardrobe: opening a closet that contains less than 10 pieces makes the process of getting dressed simple and easy. These intentions within the space of being on vacation allowed me to ” fall into a different place”. If I were to describe the main quality of that” place ” I would have to say that it mainly meant being present, open and connected.

These qualities brought about many moments of pure joyfulness and gratitude. Now as I am preparing to head back north I feel deeply nourished and rested. When we are immersed in our routine of work, home and family life these pauses are more elusive and harder to come by. We may want to meander, but inevitably may be pressured by our sense of duty and urgency as we go about our tasks.

Attending contemplative classes can offer a space and opportunity to pause: : we are reminded that resting, opening and connecting are available if we do take the time to enter spaces that facilitate these qualities. It is my sincere hope that you will be able to find some of these qualities in one of the classes that I offer this spring. Thank you.