Sunday, September 27, 2009

I woke on a Sunday with my mind in a whirlwind, jumping from task to task, admonishments heavy in their trail, a certain dread at all the commitments and deadlines that I had lined up.

I began to see it as my life, as the substance of my day. And it begged the question: Am I living my life, or is my life living me? And in that moment, I knew that it was only a shift of thought and perspective that would allow me to be a participant instead of a tool in the unfolding of each day.

I found a renewed sense of commitment to being present and observing; observing my life, as well as observing my immersion in it. To fully participate in the little things that make up my day. Maybe most importantly, I will find the vision of joy that will lead me to my greatest moments.

What is my vision of my life? What is it that I want to create? When I observe and cherish that vision, I act in concert with that vision, and I act in concert with the Universe that is happy as hell to give it to me.

On Sundays I sometimes grab Wayne Muller's Sabbath, and open it randomly. I read an essay to get me into the mood of the day. And today the essay was "Beginner's Mind". To accept that I don't know what will happen, to accept that I don't know how to get there. And to let go of what has come before and start fresh. To begin the week embracing the unknown.

Perhaps the mist is removed from where I am right now, just a bit. Perhaps I am not my work. Perhaps I am open to each and every soul that comes into my life today. Perhaps my vision is focused less on what is mine to do, and more focused on where I am right now. For a little while.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What a great night of Kirtan chanting tonight! I am feeling energized, vibrating with power. Tonight was led by Dave Stringer and Mike Cohen and Joni Allen and our own Karen Johns! There were two amazing percussionists as well, and I loved the energy they added to the chanting. Totally awesome. for more info about the origin of Kirtans.

The energy in the room with dozens of people was exhilerating. It's really futile to describe it, it is something that needs to be experienced to understand it.

The result as I'm driving home was not only a high energy level in my body and mind, but a strong sense of potential. I felt myself having greater empowerment and ability to make things happen in my life. It seemed as if some parts of a wall had been knocked down and I was free to move about the cabin. I could stretch my arms out in freedom and strength, I could feel my legs metaphorically stepping out in great strides up the mountain. I could feel my lungs take deep sharp breaths, building a rhythm of energy that would drive those legs.

As I'm feeling this energy, I'm also thinking that I want to nourish this feeling, this knowing that could propel me forward into my future with great energy and confidence.

To some, this might sound New Age woowoo. That's OK. I'm not really talking to them. I know that's becoming a smaller minority. The majority of you get it.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Space & Mystery: paths to the Zen

In A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle gives us some tools for moving into our present moment, into Presence. One of the tools is the contemplation of space. This is actually the contemplation of nothing, the unnameable. As soon as we start putting labels on things we move out of the present and into comparison with thought and time.

As I was finishing my Tai Chi form, I rested and looked at the moon through the leaves and branches of the red bud tree next to my patio, and I felt a moment of mystery, the mystery of the tree itself.

The other day I was walking along and began to contemplate the mystery of gravity, the way we are drawn physically to this ball of rock and water. I thought about the fact that I am being pulled toward this mass, the wonder and awe at the balance of our universe. It amazed me that the gravitational pull comes from all the atoms in the Earth; the ones close to the surface in the soil, the crust of the planet, the magma center. The gravity that I feel is determined by the entire planet, and creates this balance of me walking on the surface. This gravity of every atom of this planet is holding me down by the attraction it has on every atom of my body.

That wonder and awe at the mystery of this principle that has created our physical universe is the space that I can fall into, the entry to Presence.

As I looked at the tree, and the moon glowing through its branches, I dwelt on the mystery of the tree, its growth, the fractals that produce wood and leaves, the amazing evolution of this species. I felt the world slip away and become massively present, all at once.

When he had asked where he would find the Zen, the Buddhist student was told by the teacher to listen for the small stream in the distance, and through the effort of listening to what underlies the sounds that are present, the student was able to step out of his thoughts and into the moment. As he was struck by the awe of Presence, he said, "Yes, now I hear it," the teacher said, "Enter the Zen from here."