Now that I am immersed in no electricity, no TV, no wifi, and no cheese either I have a different perspective.
I can’t dash out to get a cup of brewed coffee right now.
I have to walk far into the sunshine on a winding path through rice fields with buffalo plowing the earth.
I don’t want it that badly.
When I am in the USA I’m reminded that Results are what count. There is no process. We have to succeed and be successful Right Now. But try telling that to butterfly pupas – they are on their way to being butterflies. They will break out and fly.
We forget that.
Before I got my first publishing contract for a book I wrote, Everyday Naked, I wrote for 5 years and didn’t tell anyone about it. I just wrote.
But then I wanted to show my writing to someone other than my dog. So I put together a book proposal and went the Maui Writers Conference where I met my publisher.
Interesting, how a few people reacted when I told them about the book being published. Most people were happy but I also heard, “Did you know someone?” or “I didn’t know you wrote,” which means I didn’t know so how could you be an author all of a sudden.
Because it wasn’t all of a sudden. No one saw me in my room writing every day being in my pupa stage. When it was time to bust out I flew out of my cocoon.
But I was in there for 5 years writing every day.
When I wasn’t writing I was making a living, raising a son, and being married.
Now after a bazillion years of meditating, (OK it’s been 25 years) I still am learning how to do it. Maybe when you try it you’ll get to a more profound level in less time but I’m only just seeing that some how what I was doing before was daydreaming while meditating and I’m very good at daydreaming.
So I’m still in my pupa stage when it comes to meditation. And mindfulness. But one thing I am learning is to be more gentle with myself, and less goal-minded which is difficult to drop. Why?
Because we are supposed to be PhD’s in everything we attempt and this kind of logic takes a while to drop. So thinking of pupas helps. Every one of us is a butterfly in the making. We’re all in this together – we’re all pupas.
It’s easier for me to see this in India where I can happily live without a shiny car and pricey clothes.
You don’t have to go to the Himalayas to see this but it sure helped me to go without my pillows and modern appliances to see that we’re all the same.
And that’s why when the Dalai Lama is out teaching in the world he doesn’t just talk to the luminaries like Richard Gere, he talks to the hotel staff, the old people waiting for hours to catch a glimpse of him, and to the babies who don’t even know it’s him. They’re just playing outside while their parents wait for him.
I’ve seen him do it. And it makes my heart happy. He’s doing it in the above photo, reaching out to us real people on the way to his teaching in India.
I was blessed and grateful to be at the teachings this year in Dharamsala and to have a press pass to photograph the Dalai Lama. The best part of being there was that he directly teaches me to be happy being a pupa, not just a butterfly.
By his example watching him interact with people he shows how to Go Slow and savor the moment.
He reaches out to people and holds their hands reminding me to do the same.