Sunday, March 26, 2017

A worm, a cricket and wing-magic...

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
*Movie: Seven Years In Tibet

Friday, March 3, 2017

Stillness, I hear...

Stillness is your essential nature.... You are that awareness disguised as a person.
                                                                                                                 ~ Eckhart Tolle

I have been fidgeting, standing on one foot, then the other. Minutes tick by, nothing. Stillness is my destination: that land of Being, that land of no thought, no story, no judgment and no second-guessing myself. Yet, I have not arrived at this velvet inner-space, this sense of presence.

I keep watching the Santa Catalina's  rise just beyond the dry, river bed, hoping somehow my Being will awaken this essence, this truer identity, with its eyes, its ears, and its heart -- often a different one then when trapped in thought and mental noise.

I notice birds sitting on a wire that hangs across the wash. Sixty-one birds I count. All are facing south. I watch these silent silhouettes against a grey sky. Minutes and more go by -- it does take a little time to count sixty-one birds on a wire. I wait. A lone bird flys in. Will it disturb? No, it just slips in between two others, wing to wing.  Now, sixty-two birds are sitting on a wire.

Then something shifts. I am settling down into this rich texture of silence. No need to fidget. This stillness is teaming with life, energy, intelligence and truer identity. The bud knows its spring, the silent tide follows the moon and the bird will fly north faithfully in the spring. Their stillness feels, in me, higher than these mountains.

Tis almost like these birds throw this line out, inviting me to grab hold and swing out into their inner-space, their stillness, into their sense of larger being. We feel another's sadness, another's love. If there is laughter we often find ourselves laughing. This borrowing is happening more often, be it watching a cloud, standing by this mesquite tree or listening to the (rare) rain on my umbrella.

These are the forms of this stillness that are beyond this word I am writing and beneath this thought I am thinking. This is the stillness that is between us, that acts like fragrance in our loving be it a flower, a child or a friend. This is the stillness that lives between the fingers, in the space, when the breath is caught by the beauty of sixty-two birds sitting on a wire.