the winter was extended and very cold, and at the time, hibernation was the most suitable course of action.
but we've made it through, and life is literally on the ups again. waking up in the mornings the sun is already full and bright, the birds have returned and are regaling us with their music, the shoots are breaking free from the thawed ground, and we're slowly emerging from the many layers to soak up all the abundance of spring.
that's what I'm reminded of every time this part of the year rolls around - the abundance of life. we even had some great timely reminders to start April - a full moon on the first weekend, which was also Easter weekend - the celebration, in many traditions, of recognizing rebirth, a return to the time of light and fullness.
as I look around at all the "stuff" I have (physical and other), at times it almost seems that I'm living in a world of over-abundance. when I really reflect on the things that I need, I realize that the necessities of life - a roof, food, the ability to get up every day and breathe and move - are ever present and nothing I have to fight or strive for. and in this mindset, I know that everything else, all of the "stuff" that surrounds me, is luxury and abundance. and I know that I am so blessed to be able to call these passing things "mine", and take advantage of their offerings. I am eternally grateful that my life is overflowing with abundance, and I'm really working to ensure that I remember daily, and reflect on how incredibly lucky we all are to live the lives we do.
there's a word in Sanskrit - Amitabha - and it refers to the Buddha of Infinite Light, or Unmeasured Splendor. from the texts, his most important enlightenment technique is visualizing the world we inhabit as a paradise. I've always found this optimistic approach, and specifically the two words - unmeasured and splendor - to be such a provocative and exciting conjunction. can you imagine seeing life with so much joy there's not even a way to put a metric into it? that, to me, is the most resounding explanation of recognizing abundance.