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. When we were in lockdown before vaccinations, most of these communities were not meeting in person but are using technological platforms to connect virtually. I remember having the occasion to join 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.