In his editorial for the May 2008 edition of Shambhala Sun magazine, Editor-in-Chief Melvin McLeod writes about the discoveries one can encounter on the Buddhist path:
…If we look closely, or someone points it out to us, we find that enlightened mind has coexisted all along with our usual neurosis. We catch a glimpse of enlightenment in the moments of simplicity, peace, and awareness that shine through when there’s a gap in our usual mental activity.
As Shawn and I picked up a couple of items along 14th Street in our neighborhood this afternoon, we were at the Garden District, a locally owned plant store, when a spontaneous downpour erupted from the skies above. After 10 minutes, the rain passed and the sun returned, and when I stepped outside, I noticed a stream of water pouring down from the mesh tent above that provides shade for the store’s outdoor area.
I paused and held out my right hand, letting the clean, cool water splash into my palm, reflecting the sun’s rays all about. For about four or five seconds, I experienced the purest and most simple form of mindfulness, at once giving thanks to the universe for this gift of refreshing, nourishing water while recognizing that the stream running down my arm was part of something infinitely larger than anything my mind could possibly comprehend. It was McLeod’s glimpse of enlightenment, literally in the palm of my hand.
As quickly as the glimpse entered my mind, it left, bringing home the notion that enlightenment — nirvana — occurs in the here and now, if and when I have the peace of mind to not only experience it, but to let it physically reside within my being. It is, as McLeod says toward the end of his piece, the core belief of my own personal journey along the path: My mind is the Buddha’s mind; my body is the Buddha’s body. I only have to discover what is already mine.