heart wide open, wings outstretched—
this is what I am
with birdsong and buds
spring returns in fertile green—
my heart, a flower
for the benefit
of all sentient beings—
be kind to yourself
a prayer rises
through this floating world of clouds—
swirl and then silence
I sent this message Winter Solstice last year, and the year before. Sitting here this morning thinking of composing something else, I find I am moved to share it again. An invitation to abide in unconditional Presence. To Be the Light we are.
* * * * *
Opening ourselves to the suchness of this moment, to the vibrant alive stillness beyond thoughts and concepts, we realize in the depth of our being, we are already whole—we are already one with the timeless essence of all life.
Opening ourselves to our world, we find we are living in churning, whirling, unravelling times. In such times it becomes ever more important to rest in, and draw upon, fathomless, timeless, dark radiant source for strength, courage, and renewal.
To remember vastness—and beauty. To know all things, including the painful and difficult, are lit from within by undivided light.
The world that is dreaming itself into existence beckons us to let our collective hearts be broken open, so we may find our way to co-create a culture of love. The future is calling upon each of us to be a wise and compassionate ancestor. Let us answer the sacred call with a resounding "Hineini!"—I am here! Come what may I am here! Present. Unconditionally. In my divinity and humanity, I stand in Love.
Blessings of Solstice,
Holy Darkness, Holy Light—
A Zen story for Thanksgiving:
Once upon a time there was a young man who was deeply unhappy. He had many good things in his life, but he wasn't satisfied. Feeling desperate he heard about a teacher who was supposed to be good with hopeless cases, so he made the journey to see her.
“I am miserable,” he said. “I’m too restless to sit still and meditate, and I’m too selfish to practice compassion and service. I go after whatever I want but when I get it, I’m not happy, and I’m always looking out for the next thing. I don’t have a clue where to turn. But I’ve heard you deal with hopeless cases, so maybe you can help me. You are my last resort.”
“I’m glad you came,” she said. “I might be able to help, but you have to agree to do what I ask.”
“Why don’t you tell me?” he said, “and I’ll decide if it will work for me.”
“Oh no,” she said, “The deal is that you agree to do what I say and then I tell you what you to do. There is no other way.”
He hemmed and hawed, back and forth, and finally said, “OK I’ll do it, but not forever.”
So she said, “Do it for a year and let me know.”
She said nothing.
“OK,” he said, “Give it to me.”
“I’ll give you the practice I do myself. Whenever anything appears in my mind or appears in the world, I say ‘Thank you very much, I have no complaints whatsoever.'”
“That’s all? That’s it? That’ll never work for me!”
“You agreed. For a year. Off you go now. Thank you very much, I have no complaints whatsoever.”
So he left, and she mostly forgot about him.
A year passed, and he arrived again in her room.
“It’s just as I suspected, I knew this would never work for me. I’m just as unhappy and selfish as I ever was.”
Immediately she said, “Thank you very much, I have no complaints whatsoever.”
With her words, he felt an eruption in his chest and began to laugh. In that moment he understood what she meant and laughed and laughed and laughed all the way home. “Thank you very much,” he told people, “I have no complaints whatsoever.”
My time as a visiting artist at WSG Gallery on 306 S.Main Street (http://wsg-art.com/gallery/ ) ends on November 24. I have 4 pieces currently exhibited, so if you're in the area stop by and have a look!