For the past 40 years, the town of Taos, New Mexico hosts a Wool Festival for all things having to do with fiber arts. If you’re not into knitting, spinning, and weaving, you’ll surely enjoy the fresh mountain air, music, food, and dogs. Martha and I have been visiting Taos for many years and have attended several wool festivals. This wonderful event is always held the first weekend in October and the weather is always Chamber of Commerce perfect. This year was no exception. Vendor tents are set up around the perimeter of Kit Carson Park on the main street through Taos. Large old Cottonwood trees surround the park carpeted with thick green grass, making the perfect setting for the festival. In the middle of the park are food vendors – tents with tables and chairs for eating – as well as a tent for the many musicians playing throughout the weekend.
Before we experienced the festival itself, we enjoyed a hearty breakfast at a local institution a short walk from the park. Upon entering the park, Martha said, “left or right?” I chose left because of the sun – the morning air was still chilly in the shade. We moved from one tent to another, admiring all the beautiful artistry. About three quarters around the circle of tents, I decided I needed to sit down in one of the chairs under one of the large tents. Martha happily continued shopping without me.
Travelling to Taos, checking into our hotel, eating, and all things associated with these kinds of trips, we end up doing more than being. So much of our lives are spent doing – we rarely have any time to just be. I sat down to rest and enjoy the morning – I didn’t know I would slip into a state of being I have rarely experienced.
After settling for a few minutes, I had the awareness that everything became perfect. Time stopped. There was no past and no future. I had no place to be, nothing I needed to do, nothing I needed to know – I lacked nothing. I did not drift off into random thoughts – daydreaming the morning away. I saw everything and everyone without judgment. I remember thinking how beautiful it was the way in which everyone was getting along and cooperating – and if we could do that here at this festival, why couldn’t we do the same thing in the World? I was completely present, out of my ego and completely in my soul. This is the real yoga we long for, pure awareness looking back at itself.
This state of being went on for a while, until it was interrupted by a woman asking me if she and her friends could sit at my table. I said, “I wish you would!” My writing isn’t remarkable enough to fully describe this event. Reading this, you may not have any idea what I’m talking about, but I hope you do. One way I could describe it would be a lake that is without motion, clear to the bottom, reflective, and completely still.
In every moment of our lives, we are either finding ourselves or losing ourselves. We find ourselves in the being and we lose ourselves in the doing. We always feel we should be doing something, but it’s always better to be than to do. The teachings in the Tao Te Ching tell us “By not doing, everything is done.” For however long I was sitting there in the middle of the festival, everything was done, and I experienced something very profound by simply being.