Vancouver: Pace

This exact time last year I was heading for Berlin, to a teaching given by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. It was a good time, with lots of very happy blogging. Today I’m in Vancouver, at UBC, again coming to hear Rinpoche teach. It’s a different time for me—my heart sobered, my life quieter, with a lot of alone time.

This morning I got up early and walked out of the campus apartment I’m sharing with a couple of friends, in search of coffee. The sky was gray, and the air was cold enough for the down vest I brought. UBC is a big campus, and feels almost like a little suburban town—lots of roads and construction, a lot of standing on the corner, waiting to make sure that the car coming will stop, even at 6:30 in the morning.

What I realized when I was doing just that—waiting for a car to stop—was that the last year living out in the country has slowed me down, internally. I’ve grown accustomed to the gentle pace of country living, and that pace is very much in line with where my mind and body feel happiest. The frantic pace of cities, and even suburbs—traffic and noise and shopping and lots and lots and lots of people (strangely often drunk)—requires an amping up of energy that, for me, sometimes makes feel literally less stable: like I’m more apt to lose my balance, or my shit.

It’s silly, I know, but at the slow pace I can come out to the clouds and the trees and the air, and just settle there. That’s what I love.

Today is the first day of the teaching here, and there will be Rinpoche, and there will be friends from all over the world. I’ll try to hold my seat—the one I found in the last year.

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