“He pondered this feeling which completely filled him as he slowly made his way. He pondered deeply, sinking down into the depths of this feeling, as through deep water, until he reached the point where the causes lie. For to know the causes – so it seemed to him – that is what thinking is. And only in this way do feelings become knowledge instead of being wasted. In this way they become meaningful and begin to radiate what is within them.”
-Herman Hesse, Siddhartha
I stand on the mountain, one vast expanse of energy sweeping across the cosmos,
reverberating gratitude to the world that has sustained my physical form.
A life force unharnessed, a spirit no longer in battle against itself.
Having endured beyond tangible decay, I simply am.
Now every dawn over every land reveals itself to my sight.
Now every star’s ocean-sounding breath wends its way into my hearing.
Now every water flowing in every stream and fountain
that has ever been, or will ever be,
has become available to the mouth of my heart,
which is also the mouth of the Great Spirit
that chews, swallows, and digests
all creation and non-creation,
all being and non-being
in a wheel ever-turning.
May my heart light my way. May it come into a place not unlike the narrow line that exists between water and fire, a pocket of stillness where both forces are within reach. Then I could learn their ways, how to call on them, how to let them enter me, how to recognize which one is called for. Then I might discover how to refuse nothing, yet also how to hold on to nothing.
May my heart find peace. May it find a way to be supported by the great net of life – the embroidery of things – and not lose itself in the intricate mesh. Then it might remember to bow more readily, honoring what support it has already found.
Having lost my way many times before, may I more easily recognize those paths and not start down them again. May I light my way instead of losing it.
Like stones on the seashore, we too are fragments of something larger, something greater.
We too are individual yet connected. We too are washed up here from another realm, only to return to it. We are moved back out of the sphere of gravity and oxygen, back out of a place that owes everything to its proximity to a burning star.
Our time in this dimension will cease to be, as we are returned to the same waves that washed us up, in earth-time, only a moment before. Strands of consciousness, we return to our transcendent source, no We, no You, no I.
In the one hand, Time. In the other, Eternity. In both hands, Love.
Let me become a master of listening, a student of surrender. May a strong and blossoming tree grow from the root of all my fears, a tree with the innate knowledge of how to bend with the wind.
I have much to learn from the ferryman who spends his life taking people across the river, but there is even more to learn from the river itself: how to swell with a flood, how to narrow with a drought, how to be tossed about in a wild current or move with a gentle one, how to be in a place of stillness, how to be at the bottom, the middle, the surface.
May I forget all names, all naming, in order to better contemplate the nameless. May my judgments be altogether cast aside. Let me not torment myself with endless desires. Let me learn how to be with them, so that I can say “Good Morning, My Brothers” and “Good Evening, My Sisters” with compassion, and a simple tenderness.
Let me love hugely and endlessly. Let me become.
A dream of bamboo groves and flickering candles. A dream of sitting in meditation, of the alchemy of bees bringing about the reality of honey, of the heart lifting, of a tormented heart and eyes grown world-weary.
A dream of desire stirring below the navel, of a starry sky like a great milk-swelled breast, of crushing loneliness. A dream of crouching down at the edge of water, of the sound of a bullroarer, of the coyote crossing my path and looking back, and he this night twitching as he dreams of the human crossing his path.
Dreams of the language of rivers, the lessons of mountains, the teachings of trees, the lumbering grace of knowledgeable bears, the voices of birds, the pulse of stillness, the rise and fall of tides, of breath, of prana.
And then the inevitable return. For after the dream, I enter myself again.