Recently I was asked by a close friend why I wanted to blog. It was a very good question; I hadn’t actually articulated my reasons, even to myself. I only knew I was feeling compelled to do so. My friend’s question prompted deeper reflection and I would like to share a few of my reasons now.
I commute from Marin to Sonoma County a few days a week and traverse beautiful terrain. In the early morning hours I witness the sunrise and the birth of a new day; and on these short winter days, I see the sun set on my way home. I follow the seasons of the grapes, the tides in the wetlands, and watch the sun brighten the landscape as it grows stronger in the early morning hours. One day, while on my way to work, I saw a huge billboard advertising sparkling wine and the opportunity for a tasting at the Gloria Ferrer vineyards. The billboard confidently stated:
“Ten minutes to the perfect moment.”
In one instant, I realized that this is how I had lived most of my life.
Every week for nearly a year I drove by that sign. It probably sounds crazy, but it felt like it was taunting me. I “knew”, like most spiritual seekers, of the “Power of Now”. This wasn’t a new message. But I don’t think I had ever really thought about the implications for so called “ordinary” life. I think I saw NOW as a movement away from being human toward being Divine…which somehow felt like a different thing. I thought I could transcend my humanity, but really the point is to be fully human.
I began to wonder, what would it be like to be aware in every moment of my life? To be fully present to what is arising NOW, instead of always thinking that the juice was in the past or in the future? This is an age old question in spiritual circles, but I wanted to chronicle what it would be like to, for example, really pet my cat without eating my dinner and reading the paper at the same time. What would that dinner taste like, if I paid attention to what I was eating rather than petting the cat and reading the paper. You get the idea. Among other things in this blog, I would like to chronicle my observations about the miraculous material world when I am actually present to it – aware of my body, my thoughts and feelings. This awareness feels to me to be Transcendence. Even as I feel into this as I write, I feel the quivering of fear and ecstasy.
Like most of us, I have, over the years, accumulated many ideas and beliefs, many of which have kept me separate from my Self, others and God. In these past five years many of my ideas about the truth of reality have been shattered. Sometimes it has felt like the very skin on my bones had been scraped off, revealing the bareness of a vulnerability difficult to put into words and in service to something ineffable. In this suffering there lies an implicit beauty, a fullness and awe that is tender, so so sweet, and yet visceral. It is all-encompassing and cellular, unrelenting in its demands; and, it brings me to my knees, each and every time.
During this period, separation caused a particular kind of suffering that ceased to be an abstraction and became unbearable. As my heart began to stir, a heart that had lived in subjugation to my mind for decades, I discovered its indivisibility. There is no choice but to offer myself to Life totally. I am called to serve something beyond my wildest imaginations and capacities of logic or reason. It stirs a love and longing that beckons me home.
And so this is an invitation to you:
to share the terrain of our awakenings
to respond to my utterances when you are so moved
and to support one another on our way to becoming fully human