It struck me today… just how long it has been since I’ve written anything that surprised myself. I’ve allowed social media to crowd out the space, and need to reframe my commitments.
The Taoist ox-herding pictures/story is the most vivid in describing what ‘awakening’ is like… transcending the mundane and then returning… enlightening the 10,000 things. There is no shame in making the journey again.
When my grandfather sold his business, he also sold his friends. He hadn’t meant to do the latter. He meant to free time and money to care for burdens weighing on his mind, and in the short term, that’s what he accomplished. In the middle term, he didn’t know how to function without the business as a social vehicle… as a primary medium for exchange.
This was nearly twenty years ago, yet only recently has he seemed to have successfully emerged from the transition.
There are also times when something doesn’t end completely, but winds down, stops thriving… when the actions necessary to keep it going become more artificial and feel more contrived. Such as for me, a very peculiar and wonderful community I’ve participated in deeply for 7+ years… a place I’ve invested my heart. The group appeared out of nowhere back then, a perfect song in a perfect time, making everything simply more alive. And I’ve done my best to reciprocate the blessing, all along the way.
Each of the last few years has required more stubbornness, more cheering on, though… has been less easy company. There is still an inkling of chance for a new opening to arise, for something to bloom from what lingers. Or maybe that inkling is just something I am clinging to, not yet seeing around the corner.
Tonight the online I Ching (eclecticenergies.com) says,
25. Without Pretense
Without pretense this is distress,
but do not use a medicine to have happiness.
Feeling really distressed. It is better not to try to make the feeling go away, as you would be rejecting yourself. It’s not possible to be happy when you reject yourself. Let nature take its course.
At the bookstore cafe’ today, moving through the line, when the familiar feeling of someone noticing me from the periphery presents itself. Not looking, I see someone dressed far too well for the bookstore. I am disheveled, but he lingers, then asks about the book I’d purchased for my niece… a children’s book, delightful, titled “Goodnight Yoga: A Pose-By-Pose Bedtime Story.” I think, “he’s too attractive” and look away, but he draws me back by saying he has a son, 6 years old, and wonders whether he might like the book.
I show him the illustration on the cover: girl in playful yoga pose, whimsical. I think of my own son, who would scoff at it, but he is 17 and calls his mother “hippy dippy.” I say, “Well, it’s yoga.” He says he wishes he had begun yoga many years ago, that his son lives in Hawaii, and that he would like him to do more for himself… that everyone dotes on him too much.
Me: “He must be charming, and what a nice life, in Hawaii.” He laughs, “Unlike me he is handsome, charming with ladies, and smart.” Hm, that was a perfect time to emote. I don’t. I begin mentally packing up to hurry away and say, “Good luck!”
Later in my car I revisit the conversation. Emerging from a long marriage and what I tell friends was like a 20+ year parenting retreat, I have no idea what I’m doing. I only know that I don’t wish to do the same things as before. I would like to be a more attentive partner.
But, even in this small interaction, I missed so much about this man… the way he worried about his son far away in Hawaii… the way he looked back and wished he had found yoga sooner, perhaps when with they were closer. He was thoughtful, reflective, interesting, but I was too wrapped up in myself, my own nervousness. I’ll get better.
A few nights ago I was struck with energy of the sort that could be called inspiration, yet didn’t feel particularly out of the ordinary. Rather, it was a practical nudge to write a list. Thinking further, it was probably a build up of energy that had started with a question posed during the Brahma Kuhmaris meditation workshop last weekend, about a figure in one’s life who displays admired qualities. I had chosen someone, yet in that choosing had also fathomed others who would fall into that category, then teachers in general, and spiritual friends who have graced my life.
As I began to write this list, a flood of other lists and figures began to appear. The teacher category was soon at 50, then over the next few days, an honest 100. I say ‘honest’ because there were some figures who arose that were not quite teachers, but friends and influencers none the less, and then there was also a dark side of those categories, which was thankfully, much smaller. A separate ‘friends’ list grew and branched into other figures who were ‘neutral-positive’ or neutral-negative due to some lingering misunderstanding or discomfort, then another list – some on the edges with whom I’d like to be closer.
But it was the teacher list that kept growing, because, behind each teacher were other teachers, and there were those I’d spent deep lifetimes or love affairs with in books, or who had shown up in various guises and dreams along the way. Well, when I reached that territory – the dream and vision territory – yet another wave came through. Now, it wasn’t teachers, but lessons and stories. So I began another list, which branched into a few more. Continue reading “Indra’s Time”
Coming out from a pleasant nap… the last fifteen minutes an interesting spontaneous meditation about ‘world’ and ‘body’, and how I function as though my body is in the world. So the meditation was about ‘world’ in ‘body’, with the micros and macros playing back and forth.
During the summer months, while most are playing in the sun, I go inward. I don’t exactly become a cave dweller, but unless I’m traveling somewhere where the heat and humidity is not quite as oppressive as my much loved Florida, in the summer I spend a lot of time indoors. This may mean, however, museums, short jaunts here and there, and lots and lots of movies. This year it will mean Kundalini and other Yogas and diving deeper into meditation, perhaps progress with writing projects too. So it isn’t bad, although, I do have to deal with the young girl inside of me who wishes to be included in everything… all the parties, all the fun.
There may still be adventures. Dreams over the last week or so have featured powerful animal creatures, and my running (not from anything, exercising!), and climbing. I’m developing confidence and new vision, yet the inwardness isn’t a second choice. It is something I have to work with for a window of time… reconnection that had been deferred.
As a coincidence, after years of hearing the term soul retrieval in passing, Continue reading “Recollection”