I said Oh no! Help me! And the Oh no! became a rope let down in my well. I've climbed out to stand here in the sun. One moment I was at the bottom of a dark, fearful narrowness, and the next, I am not contained by the universe. If every tip of every hair on me could speak, I still couldn't say my gratitude. In the middle of these streets and gardens, I stand and say and say again, And it's all I say, I wish everyone could know what I know.
There are times when the gratitude is so vast it truly does contain everything. Every cell in the body is glittering, vibrating with this gratitude. It's not possible to describe in words, but once experienced, you will know it. That "knowing," it never leaves, though your mind may move into fear or doubt or sadness.
My stay in Florida has been just such an experience. How I wish everyone could know what I know...
"At last there wakes in us a witness Soul That looks at truths unseen and scans the Unknown, Then all assumes a new and marvellous face. The world quivers with a God-light at its core, In Time's deep heart high purposes move and live, Life's borders crumble and join infinity." ~ Sri Aurobindo, ""The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds"
A few evenings ago as the sun was setting, I looked up to see "a new and marvellous face" as the clouds took this angelic shape. The witness is always here. Connecting with it feels just like Sri Aurobindo describes. When I first encontered that witness I thought I had moved into an altered state of some sort. It felt light and disconnected from my body, from solid reality.
In Yoga, we practice moving inward, disconnecting from external distraction, while at the same time, being deeping connected to all sensation. After years of practice, the witness is simply present with each breath. Surrendering to the unknown flows easily. Watching thoughts drift through the mind like clouds. No holding on, no fear. Life's borders crumble and disolve into infinity.
Native American 10 Commandments: The earth is our mother, care for her. Honor all your relations. Open your heart and soul to the Great Spirit. All life is sacred; treat all beings with respect. Take from the Earth what is needed and nothing more. Do what needs to be done for the good of all. Give constant thanks to the Great Spirit for each new day. Speak the truth; but only of the good in others. Follow the rhythms of nature; rise and retire with the sun. Enjoy life's journey, but leave no tracks.
This is what it means to answer the call, to commit to being here in a human life, as a human being:
to love what is mortal,
to love what is unpredictably changing & impermanent,
to love while being mindful that everything, every person, every place, every moment we love will change & pass, but to love anyway.
And to love what you love fiercely, no holds barred, nothing held back, knowing that the reality of who & what you are here & now as a human being is inseparable from this world, this life you claim & inhabit fully.
~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer, from The Call
There's a fierceness, a fiery passion in what is spoken here. It takes commitment to live each moment in authenticity. To love life, each moment and each person, including oneself, seems an impossible task. Yet there are glimspes, flashes, moments where this is unmistakably experienced. And the peace that comes in those moments is beyond verbal expression.
Meditation is adventure, the greatest adventure the human mind can undertake. Meditation is just to be, not doing anything – no action, no thought, no emotion. You just are and it is a sheer delight. From where does this delight come when you are not doing anything? It comes from nowhere, or it comes from everywhere. It is uncaused, because the existence is made of the stuff called joy. OSHO, The Orange Book Of Meditations
For me, meditation is the greatest adventure because it opens you to all that is real. It brings sheer joy and lifts the veil that separates us from each other and all beings. It's true the body goes nowhere, there is no action required, and yet, it is such vastness and beyond the understanding of the mind you find joy. Joy that comes from no-thing. No requirements or prerequisites, just be...
connects you intimately with
the rhythm of the universe.
May you have respect for your
individuality and difference.
May you realize that the shape
of your soul is unique,
that you have a special destiny
that behind the facade of your
there is something beautiful
and eternal happening.
May you learn to see your self
with the same delight,
pride, and expectation
with which God sees you in
Each time I read something from John O'Donohue, I connect with that essence he writes so eloquently about. He reminds us that in our uniqueness we are shining brightly even when we can't feel it. How filled with wonder and astonishment I am when I look beyond the facade of my life and see the eternal, beautiful rhythm of the universe connecting us all.
Everything that is in the heavens, on the earth and under the earth is penetrated with connectedness, is penetrated with relatedness."
~Hildegard of Bingen
Along the jetties at Venice beach these birds gang out together. Very entertaining, they gracefully fly over the water, then meet on the wooden railing to dance and chat with each other. They seem to know that everything in their world is connected. They seem content, curious, happy. Perhaps they are just a reflection of my own thoughts.
A warm sunny spring day in Florida makes it easy to dissolve into the connectedness of the universe. Sand between my toes grounds me. Blue water reminds me to flow with each moment. The sun energizes and ignites my spirit and imagination. The gentle breeze whispers "all is well."
The ancient wisdom from all cultures reminds us everything is connected. We are all One.
I've been looking for a long, long time, for this thing called love, I’ve ridden comets across the sky, and I’ve looked below and above. Then one day I looked inside myself, and this is what I found, A golden sun residing there, beaming forth God’s light and sound.
It's easy to forget that golden sun at times when life seems to be less than wonderful. But if somehow we can find a way to move inward, we feel the warmth and glow of this essence. Rumi certainly knew this place well and shared his wisdom every chance he could. Thousands of poems have been credited to him, and the inner journey he takes his reader on is always to this place.
"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous." ~ Aristotle
Just a few houses down from where we are staying is this beautiful bird-of-paradise plant. As Payton and I walked this morning, I noticed it was in full bloom. This semi-tropical climate in Florida offers so many marvelous things to enjoy with all of the senses. Though the eye is drawn to the vibrant colors, the nose enjoys fragrances of gardenia and bougainvillea, the ear resonates with the calls of so many different birds, the tongue delights in taste of ripe strawberries, and the skin feels the warmth of the sun and the touch of the breeze. Then at the beach the marvelous is everywhere ~ in the sand, the waves, the shells, the sky, the clouds, the sun...
Full moons have long intrigued me. Something about shining so brightly during the darkness of night. Something about being a reflection of the sun, not a source of light itself. Something about feeling awake and open and calm. This month's moon is referred to as a "super moon" because it appears so big. In scientific terms it is defined as "a lunation that occurs when the Moon is at perigee, the point in its orbit when it is closest to Earth."
Some believe the full moon brings awareness and breakthroughs. But always a balance is necessary. Staying grounded and fully present as the experience of that sublime, purposeful and serene moon flows through every cell of the body. Enjoy!
Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axison which the world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, withoutrushing toward the future; Live the actual moment. Only this moment is life. ~ Thich Nhat Hahn
In our busy world where accomplishment is revered and just being seldom acknowledged, Thich Nhat Hahn gently reminds us of the present moment. This moment is all we actually have. The earth doesn't rush through it's day, and either the sun. The stars enjoy shining until they are extinguished.
Such a simple pleasure making a cup of tea and slowly drinking it, sip by sip. With each sip the taste washes over the tongue and fills the mouth, then flows like an inner river down the throat. The warmth and the flavor remains and expands into the spaciousness of the body. How wonderful to be alive and aware of such simple wisdom!
I'd like to share just a portion of the poem, a prayer really, written by David Whyte to his daughter. It expresses my deepest wish for my daughter's spiritual nurturing.
Thirty years ago, my life changed in ways never imagined. My daughter, Amanda, was born and with her came untold joy, amazement, and, of course, challenge. I don't know if we are born with the seed of becoming a mother or not, but Amanda brought such love and laughter, along with tears and struggles, that I became her protector, nurturer, guide, and teacher. I became her mother. I didn't always know what might be best, but I was open to that great parental spirit to show me the way. Mistakes most likely have been made through the years and with them great lessons. So, it has always been with great love and devotion that I have stood with her as she found her own way. She shines brightly each day and moves through life with courage and grace.
Happy birthday to my daughter ~ a joy, a miracle ~ quite simply a remarkable young lady!
Listen to Life as it happens.
Watch what emerges within each moment.
Learn to trust the processes and energies
that move within and through our lives.
This is our sacred calling...
...for in learning to trust All That Is, as It is,
we begin to honor the majesty, meaning, and mystery
inherent within this Infinite universe.
~ Metta Zetty
It is easy to "listen to life" on days like these with the breeze gently moving the clouds across the sky and the sun warming every cell in the body. Learning to trust life, to truly let go is a huge lesson. It has taken me half a lifetime and now I move into the majesty and mystery of the Infinite Universe. Watching each moment unfold...
The inspiration you seek is already within you.
Be silent and listen.
Each day brings more images for this very thing ~ Inspiration. At first being silent is a struggle. How can we do such a thing in our noisy world! But with practice, the listening actually leads us into silence. Because when we travel inward, moving with grace and ease into the sounds around us, we find they expand to allow us entry, and then they melt into a vastness beyond all knowing.
Last night I begged the Wise One
to tell me the secret of the world.
Gently, gently he whispered,
'Be quiet, the secret cannot be spoken,
it is wrapped in silence." ~ Rumi
Last night in the deep silence of that place between asleep and awake, I understood what Rumi meant. Solitude floats softly as if on angel wings and unstruck sounds resonate around and through me. It is everything and nothing; vast and minute; radiating outward to the farthest reaches of the universe and inward to infinity. The Wise One whispers, "See now the Great Mystery cannot be spoken?"