If we look deeply, we find that we do not have a separate self-identity, a self that does not include sun and wind, earth and water, creatures and plants, and one another.
~ Joan Halifax
Tibetans have a great reverence for life in all its forms. In the fifties, as a young boy, the Dalai Lama wanted a movie theater built and asked his western friend Heinrich Harrer to build it.* They had just begun the foundation when all work stopped. The workers had found a worm and refused to dig further -- maybe it was someone's mother who had reincarnated. The problem was solved. Each worm was dug up and reverently, in scooped hands, passed to a group of monks waiting to transplant it in a safer place.
Do I understand it? No, but maybe this is not the level from which it is to be spiritually understood. My wise old friend, as well as, enlightened teachers like E. Tolle explain there is only one consciousness -- no "my consciousness" or "your consciousness" but one consciousness coming through many channels and forms. Thus, when I move to Presence, is not a tree, a bird, a worm or maybe even a cricket part of this one consciousness, as well?
A reader has been telling me about her experience with a cricket. She first discovered it in the bathroom by her make-up case, then her bedroom and later, on her kitchen counter. After a few weeks she tells me, "I think it likes me. It seems to follow me around." And a cricket who is even moving in a Nova Scotia in winter creates a question. She can't put it outdoors at ten below.
Is this faithful piece of life following her to bedroom, bathroom and kitchen? Could it be relating in some fashion to her vibration? I have no idea. At the head-level, I label it, define it, objectify it and dismiss it. Yet maybe if I see with the eyes of awareness, the eyes of Presence and not the mind of mental concepts, I will recognize a mysterious aliveness that breathes in and out.
This morning she tells me the cricket died. I feel a little sad. She asks, "Do you know where I found it? I know instantly. She loves her bed. "I found it between the sheets." She pauses, then says, "You know, I might swat a fly but I had a caring for that little cricket and maybe it even cared for me. I couldn't throw it in the garbage."
Asking what she did with it, she replies, "I put it in the sun. And, oh Augusta, the color of its tiny wings were gold, copper and shining bronze. You know there is a wing-magic when we relate to something."
Here in lies the secret sauce of humility. Here in lies the sacredness of living. I might not understand it with my head but thankfully, the eyes and ears of my heart are wiser. Maybe those ordinary Buddhist back in Tibet, whether I share their belief or not, invite me as does the cricket -- to another awareness beyond label or definition. Maybe, at core, at center, we are invited to relationship, to a sacredness where in essence, we do all beat as one.
|Joan Halifax and the Dalai Lama|