Sunday, May 1, 2011
Mindfulness of Juggling
This is a great day for juggling. I’m well rested and the weather is perfect. I can’t wait to get started and work on some of the new patterns I’ve been learning. The market is intensely crowded, so I wander over Skinner butte to the river park. There’s always a nice patch of grass there to stand on. There are also people about, which is good, because I love having an audience.
Before I start, I sit by the river for a moment and follow my breath. It’s so easy to slip into a mindful state, anywhere, anytime. In the past few months, I’ve been returning to this awareness, and it’s been very gracious for me. The moments build on themselves, and it occurs to me more and more often to sit. As my attention settles on the breath, I see a river of thought passing by me, as frothy and noisy as the wide, muddy Willamette a few yards away.
It’s a little humbling, this torrent of petty thoughts washing through me, second by second. But the power, and the peace, lies in the fact that I am now sitting on the bank watching it, instead of swimming in it. And so, the healing and the expansion begin, they continue.
Still feeling pretty still, I get up and walk to the little patch of grass where I usually juggle. It’s a nice spot, with kids going by all the time. No one seems to notice me for awhile, but experience has taught me that people are almost always watching, they just don’t say anything. And sure enough, when I look around me, I see people looking my way.
Soon there are a few kids standing by, and some of them want to learn. So I give some lessons. Next the moms are over, chatting and telling their kids to say please and thank you.
I’m reminded, once again, that when I’m in the right frame of mind, there’s no such thing as a stranger. And juggling is a great ice-breaker.
The new patterns are a little more polished now, a little smoother. I pack up my props in my little blue shoulder bag and head over the hill, with the sun warm on my back.