By Devin (Practice Leader)

I took this picture years ago, with a chuckle, in a moment of appreciating the equanimity of Buddha no matter what is happening. 

Coming across it again during our challenging midwinter cold, I thought about the teaching that one way of reaching equanimity is by viewing our thoughts the same way we view weather. 

We all notice the weather. And at the same time, we all know there is no “forever weather.”  Weather, is simply passing by.  Impermanent and impersonal. 

What would happen if we could view our thoughts this way?

Pema Chodron has one of the most often quoted sayings on just this idea:  “You are the sky.  Everything else is just the weather.”  There is such power in that summation.

Over the years I’ve run across many other quotes that help me to realize this truth.  They are each related to weather or to Nature. 

Thich Nat Hahn:  “Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky.  Conscious breathing is my anchor.”

Rumi:  “And don’t think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It’s quiet, but the roots are down there riotous.”

Japanese Proverb:  “One kind word can warm three winter months.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson:  Adopt the pace of Nature.  Her secret is patience.”

All through our darkest months and coldest weather, may we keep these sayings in mind.  May we treat our thoughts as weather systems passing by, impermanent, impersonal.  May we notice, acknowledge, and stay present.

A poem to finish this post:

My Inner Weather Report

Yesterday

a fierce

storm

blew in

with bolts of lightning

and thunderclaps

pitch black clouds

hovered overhead

and it poured

all day long.

Today

I feel sunny

with gentle breezes

and no clouds at all.

I’m learning to take my weather report—

and notice my feelings

as they come and go.

From My Thoughts Are Clouds: Poems for Mindfulness by Georgia Heard.

Please join us for meditation classes, and learn how to view your thoughts as a weather pattern.