Autumn Rain

By Dorothy Hunt

photo by Juliana Nan

Today, I am writing from Moon Mountain, where autumn rains have suddenly turned dry, brown, lifeless moss a vivid, bright green on the rocks and boulders that rest on this mountain.  The autumn rains have not only brought new life to ancient stones, but have calmed the dry summer dust, and bathed the sprawling oak trees deeply rooted here.  The damp, cool, overcast day seems to invite inwardness, contemplation, a cup of hot tea.

There is a quiet beauty on the mountain that calls forth a slower pace, a deeper rest, and often a natural awakening before dawn.  Silence is ever-present, of course, even in a bustling city; but it is a great gift to spend time in nature without an alarm clock, without the need of a morning traffic report or “breaking news.”  Here, dawn is the breaking news, the interweaving of silence, muted color, and deep peace. Here Silence often seems to play its melody in a crescendo rather than pianissimo.

What notices leaves falling in an autumn rain, the bare light of winter, tiny buds painting spring, or the richness of a summer harvest?  What is awake to the changing seasons and the changing weather—nature’s weather or your own? Can we become interested in what is intimately aware, noticing its silent presence—ever present, how its clarity does not depend on circumstances.  It is equally open, clear and non-judging about a quiet mind or a busy one, an open heart or a fearful one. This intimacy is your own freedom and love.

Let us meet on Moon Mountain regardless of our physical surroundings.  Each moment is an offering and an opening to discover that the mountain of form and the moon of enlightenment are simply not two.  Stopping—even for a moment—is all that is required to begin to see, hear, touch, taste and sense what is beyond time.   While there are many causes and conditions for the movement of life as our time-bound mind, Truth has none.  It is timeless and will, of itself, reveal its true face as our own.  Eventually Silence will draw us deeper and deeper into the Mountain. But be forewarned: Those who have deeply entered Moon Mountain do not return; yet they walk and talk and move about in the world as though they have.

already autumn
even sprinkles of rain
in the moon’s shape
—Basho

Excerpt from The Altar of This Moment
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