I didn’t pick up the phone because I didn’t recognize the number but when the voicemail came through I was shocked. It was one of the monks, the one who my children and I call the “baby” monk because he looks like a smiling Buddha Baby, from the Buddhist temple I attend. He was calling because he is leaving for Sri Lanka the following day! I have been so sick from pregnancy with vomiting, nosebleeds and headaches that my attendance to temple has been sparse. I immediately burst into tears. It was only a six-month visit but in the grand scheme of things … so much can happen in six months!
I immediately called back and they invited me to attend a very small chanting and meditation gathering. I couldn’t hop in the car fast enough! It was six devotees and two monks. And when I arrived I also learned that our head monk who had been studying in Sri Lanka these past six months had arrived back to temple just one day earlier. I was like a small child getting their favorite treat. After I calmed down I then realized there was a Christmas tree not 10-feet from the Buddha statue! An artificial tree decorated in rainbow lights and huge ornaments. I couldn’t stop laughing or smiling. And the Buddha Baby monk and I just laughed and laughed, even over nothing. It was so good to laugh!
When the time came to chant and mediate it was just absolute bliss and peace. No pain. No thoughts of past or future…just my present moment. And as is usual during my meditation, I had a vison. Visions come in that stillness between the waking moment and the verge of going to sleep. It is a sight I have had since I was a small child and has been even more pronounced with each birth of my children…and especially with the newest little one still growing in my womb. I saw a house and inside the house was a pyramid and inside the pyramid was a baby. It was so beautiful. But as I lingered to contemplate I suddenly felt a violent wave of nausea come over me.
I know these waves of pregnancy hormones, and even at half way through my pregnancy, they come strong and cannot be denied. I tried to swallow big gulps of air hoping to keep what was coming up at bay but it only led to coughing which meant an emergency exit. I ran from the room, out the temple door slipping on a pair of man’s huge shoes as I ran outside and to the woods. I puked my guts up and then looked up and saw the moon. I squatted, staring at the sky realizing very quickly how cold it was, as I had run out without a coat, and my immediate need to pee. So I figured might as well pee in the woods as I had just puked there. So there I was squatting in my skirt, a pair of man’s oversized shoes, no coat on a freezing night outside my Buddhist temple, peeing in the woods where I had just moments ago tossed up my dinner. In that moment, after my incredibly filled day, I couldn’t help but laugh. I laughed so hard I had a coughing fit which led to more laughter and me falling back on my bare ass on the ground. It was a deep laughing that had me marvel at the moments of my day…my life…me…all of it. I FELT IT ALL. Bare-assed, pregnant, throat sore from puking on a cold moonlit night and I was ALIVE. Truly alive. And guess what? Happy!
After the tears from laughing stopped I pulled up my underwear, straightened my skirt, walked back inside and finished the rest of mediation and received a farewell blessing and bracelet from both monks. Overall, I have to say my life is exactly as it needs to be. Imperfectly perfect and truly awake and alive and FULL of love, gratitude, pain and joy. All of it.