Listening to the sound of what is taking place; looking at the sight of what is taking place. Engaging what is taking place with lovingkindness
, compassion, appreciative joy, and equanimity
-- we enter the vitality of May.
A woman remembers receiving chemo in a room with other women. She recalls feeling the love and care involved in the setting up and dispensing of the chemo. Sitting at Thursday Evening Conversation on lesson 123 of the Course in Miracles ( "I thank my Father for His gifts to me" )
, she brings that experience to the circle in the bookstore.
We are looking at, perhaps even seeing, what is taking place.
As for me, I delight
in the everyday Way,
vines and rocky caves.
Here in the wilderness
I am completely free,
with my friends,
the white clouds, idling forever.
There are roads,
but they do not reach the world;
since I am mindless,
who can rouse my thoughts?
On a bed of stone
I sit, alone in the night,
while the round moon
climbs up Cold Mountain.
- Han Shan
There's a variation of the Golden Rule taking place in her telling. It goes like this: Whatever is done to others is done to me.
There's both a chilling and heart-warming insight that comes with contemplation of interconnectiveness
. It is this: We feel what we do to others; others feel what is done to us. It is all shared feeling, participatory experience. Such a communion of received reality seems, at first blush, wonderful. Then, frightening. Maybe, finally, just so.
The difficulty we experience in "receiving communion" is our unawareness of what is taking place.
We have grown used to thinking, analyzing, and interpreting. We have, correspondingly, forgotten much about feeling, presencing
, and allowing/forgiving what is taking place.
The poet e.e.cummings wrote, "not to completely feel is thinking." We've grown so confused about matters of war, inequality, political deceit, and unkindness that we no longer know what to think. The configurations and complexities of contemporary economic, political, and moral considerations are making us numb. Not only do we not know what to think, we no longer feel what we feel. Our feelings about the chaos surrounding us have been referred to thinking, which has collapsed under the strain of absurdity, impotence, and fatalism.
Rest In Being --
Sitting quietly, feel what sits there. Explore the body you sit in. Observe the scintillating field of sensation we call the body.
Notice sensation's wordless quality.
Its sense of simply being humming through the body.
Go within sensation to that subtle presence by which the sensation is known. Feel the sensation within sensation.
Settle into that sense of being, of aliveness vibrating in each cell. Rest in being.
Just sit quietly and know. Let awareness sink into yourself. Know what knows. Experience directly that sense by which you imagine you exist. Enter it wholeheartedly. Sit in the center of that hum. Does it have a beginning? Does it have an ending? Or is there just a sense of endless being, unborn and undying? Don't ask the mind, which always limits itself with definitions, ask the heart, which cannot name it but always is it.
Rest in being.
(--Stephen Levine, from 365 Nirvana, Here and Now by Josh Baran)
This is how one/an/other is cured. Maybe there is no cure for cancer. Maybe there soon will be one. But in the meantime, instead of focusing attention on the disease of cancer, we might instead give our attention to the health of the individual person who perhaps is suffering the disease. We can help cure one another. With lovingkindness
. With compassion. With appreciative or sympathetic joy. And with equanimity
What we give out, returns. What we receive, is given. We are an infinite going out and returning in -- a figure "8" of wandering away from center, then returning through center core enroute
out around and back again.
If we feel the sound and feel the sight of what is taking place -- we have become what God longs to be -- presence, loving and simple presence.
since feeling is first
since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;
wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world
my blood approves,
and kisses are a far better fate
lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry
--the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says
we are for eachother: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph
And death i think is no parenthesis
(--poem by e.e. cummings)
Birds eat. Sun shines. Dog snoozes.
It is May!