Updated: Mar 22, 2022
It's 9 degrees this morning with snow on the ground. There's very little to suggest that we are headed towards spring. And yet today we will gain 1 minute and 13 seconds of daylight. Tomorrow, 1 minute and 17 seconds, and each day will continue to get lighter, and at an increasing rate. 1 minute and 13 seconds doesn't sound like much. It actually isn't, and it's basically not noticeable. Yet, day after day, the increase in light adds up and then we find ourselves in mid-February noticing it's still light at 5 pm and the cardinals are starting to sing.
Our practice progresses in a similar way. All the small intentions to be present. All the moments of mindfulness and kindness. They may not seem like much, and further, we may feel like nothing is happening with our practice. (Hint, good time to note striving when that thought comes up.) And yet, just like the lengthening days, something is happening, slowly, organically. Just not at the pace of instant gratification that we have been acculturated to. Our job is to simply keep going. Just don't stop. This is the most important Dharma instruction there is. Patience with the seemingly slow pace of transformation and persevering by holding the intention to be present and cultivating the Noble Eightfold Path close to our hearts. If we do, just like in the natural world, we'll find ourselves in summer in the warmth and light.