Mental Health Monday: Sitting, Noticing

meditation, buddha, statue, lotus, garden, peace, glow, buddhist ...

Image description: A statue of the Buddha, sitting. One palm rests on his leg and the other is lifted, facing us. This statue is in a forrest, and green and red leaves are in the background.

I serve as the Co-Director of the Interfaith Round Table of Washtenaw County, and in that role, I have the privilege of visiting many communities during their worship and times of spiritual practice. Due to our pandemic, most of these communities are not meeting in person but are using technological platforms to connect virtually. This week, I joined the Zen Buddhist Temple in Ann Arbor for their Sunday service.

I sat outside on my deck, stilled myself, connected with my body, and listened. I heard the sound of so many birds with their various calls. I heard neighbors multiple streets away using a weed eater and a leaf blower. I wondered… what’s the farthest sound I can hear right now?

When I asked that question, I heard birds chirping on the recording from the temple. Yes, those are across town and certainly the farthest away.

In all the upheaval of these days, it’s a great gift to simply sit still, check in with our bodies, and notice. When we slow down and notice, we can have greater pleasure and connection with all that’s around us.

Renee Roederer

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