Zen and the Art of Being Savannah

Savannah was getting her massage therapy. I was working in my office on the other side if the house.

I heard her coughing, then gagging. I dashed to her just as she produced an enormous glob of mucus in her mouth. I reached in with a finger and fished it out before she could swallow it again.

The Zen Master
She began to laugh. I brought her a new cloth and took the old one to the "yuck" bucket in the laundry room. The therapist went back to work. Savannah continued to laugh and laugh.

If anyone is going to reach nirvana, it is going to be her. She can truly live in the moment. Who else can find such happiness in something so simple? If I hocked up a lump of throat mucus, spit it out, and proceeded to laugh for ten minutes, people would think I'd lost my mind. But maybe that's the way I should live? Maybe I should celebrate the simple pleasures the way Savannah does?

I've been living all wrong.

Life isn't about career goals and the accumulation of assets.

Maybe it's about something else entirely.

Savannah is free of materialism and dogma and cultural norms. She doesn't want what other people have. She loves her friends and family and shows them affection freely, without fear of overstepping a social boundary. She absorbs music, especially classical and can concentrate on it, unlike most people, who assume music without words is white noise. And when she and I are together, we can be quiet, or I can read to her for hours. My voice soothes her like a snake charmer's pungi (traditional Indian wind instrument). She likes to hold my hand, and when she does, she slips into warm tranquility and smacks her lips with joy.

When I allow myself to live as she does:

1. I refuse to treat time as a commodity to be bought and sold,

2. I live in time rather than "save" it or "spend" it or exchange it with my employer for "cash,"

3. I leave my ambitions behind with my dissatisfaction with the world.

When I do these things, something amazing happens. I find peace and happiness. And even more importantly, I find gratitude for the Zen Master who lives under my own roof, and whose lessons, though hard and painful, help me along the path toward enlightenment.

#Zen #inspiration #happiness #time #materialism #joy #now #dharma #nirvana #gratitude #specialneeds #parenting #disability


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