You don’t have to rush. You don’t have to be in such a hurry all the time. You don’t have to feel pulled in a hundred different directions. It’s only the energy of the society around you, and has nothing to do with the conversation your life makes with the world.
When you give up the habit of rushing and the need to be in control, it creates space in you for peace.
Notice how any system has rules and limitations, and must operate within its own boundaries in order to control effectively. Notice how weak – or how strong – any single aspect of a system becomes when approached in a non-systematic way, or when it is removed from the system to which it belongs, revealing just how limiting a system can be.
Fear, desire, and the need to be in control are like obstructions in a river, blocking the full potential of the water’s flow. You can always be less rigid and more fluid, less like stone and more like water.
To live less systematically – and let go of the rush – is to allow the space and flexibility for peace to flow more abundantly into your life.
“May I be the tiniest nail
in the house of the universe.
Tiny, but useful.”
(Rasa is a Sanskrit word literally meaning juice, essence, or taste. It also refers to an ancient concept in Indian arts concerning the aesthetic of a composed piece of visual, literary, or musical work. More specifically, Rasas are the feelings evoked in the reader or audience by the artistic work.)
Your life, this life, not separate. Rather, linked to all others. Are you the creator or the creation? Are you the central character or the chief spectator?
You are the witness, the audience, ever in the throes of each Rasa rising up within you. Where is your Vismaya, your wonder – your Adbhuta, astonishment? Ruled by the strange, the sad, the sharp and cold, the soft and warm. Governed by your smile, tears, the metronome of your heart.
You prepare tea, walk dogs, read books, drink water from a clear glass, and none of these things are ordinary, though often mistaken as such.
The world is at once a utopia and wasteland. I have watched bodies become prisons – the bodies of those I have loved. I have watched minds become solitary confinement. I have watched myself twist and turn, bend over backwards, push on and on.
Sometimes I wonder, will we not truly see one another until after we have passed onward and inward? Such is the light of a star upon the brows of the earthbound.
What have we been, in the very ground of our being? What might we become? These questions are of past and future. In trying to answer them, we will not find peace.
Carry the wind of the present in your heart and you will never thirst. You will participate in eternity. You will experience Real Time, not clock time, not practical time, not linear time.
We carry bow and arrow but not much power.
Let us have no use for it.
There is no room left to breathe when we make too much of things, when we are swept into drama. The drama takes up all the space.
The simple things, small things, have the most power to bring us peace. There is space around them. They are not so small after all.
“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured, and endure what cannot be cured.”
It’s hard to be sure
if you’re climbing.
really going somewhere.
As opposed to
just milling about
as if you were
at a cocktail party.
Who can say
in what direction
you’re actually moving?
Could be sideways,
or some off-the-charts
Perhaps there are
no directions at all,
and we’re just taught
that an absence of direction
would be impossible.
you’re hanging on
for dear life
to the same slippery place
you grabbed hold of,
when you lost your footing –
and almost fell –
so long ago.
Kettle on, I began my chores while the water heated. I don’t mind winter’s darkness being punctual, but arriving too early is plain inconsiderate.
Before long, my cracked fingers smelled of orange peel and smoke from the wood-fire I built, with kindling so fine and fair it swelled my hands to cut it. My tea, too, was smoked – black tea once carried with great difficulty across Mongolia, Siberia.
Still in my work clothing, I stood looking out through glass and viscous gloom, as the cat relieved himself. He inspected his production before covering it with snow, and bounded back to the door, rabbit-like.
I retreated to the lamp-lit heart of the arthritic house to get out of my boots, praise the luxury of soap and hot water, and begin cooking.
Sometimes we are born with deep secrets. Secrets we don’t even know we’re keeping, until they unveil themselves. Startling surprises. So open up, open up, roll back the curtain, don’t close yourself off, don’t shut down, don’t do it. It is tempting to keep quiet and lay low, but let your heart take a few lashes, let all the voluminous light inside of you come out before your inevitable worldly departure.
Contemplate the line between who people think you are, who they need you to be, want you to be, and who you truly are. Let yourself change, stretch out, grow, expand.
One would think that once your heart has taken its share of lashes, you might retreat, pull back, run for cover. Never mind this, it’s only logic tugging at you. Go up and out instead, run towards the fire. Open up the wicker of your rib basket and pull your heart loose. Set it down gently, still beating, in the eye of the whirlwind.
You never know when you might see yourself. Not a glance, not an examination. See. What you once could have sworn was solid now reveals itself to be translucent. What once looked to be a pillar of immovable strength now strikes you as fragile. So take everything they think they know about you, every last scrap of how they think you should be, of who they think you are, and just burn it.
Don’t be frightened, it’s only death and resurrection. Open up.