Thursday, May 24, 2012

Having a Completed Experience

On Mount Neahkahnie, Oregon Coast 
I want to be more present in my life. Perhaps this is true for you too. Lately I've been considering the all encompassing way life events seem to blur together and loose their vitality when I am fretting or over analyzing. Time flies, we hear over and over again. Or is it that we fly from experience to experience without being present?

I've lived about 19,000 days. How many of those days have I really been here? How many moments have I inhabited? How many inhabit me?

Lately I've been playing with two ideas about life. One is that I want to rescue one memory a day, to really dwell with it and let it pass within and through me. To really see my friend across the table and feel their presence. To feel the cold rain on my face without resistance. To sit with pain, mine or yours. And then to present this experience to God, the Beloved presence coursing within me.

The second idea is that a great role of living is to allow the experiences to move through me. Not just the ephemeral aspects of "me", like spirit and soul, but through my blood and bones. I've been  wondering if enlightenment might be as simple as having a completed experience in this particular body. It's a simple idea, but not an easy idea.

The body is a transmitter of pleasure and challenge. Perhaps the body is more than we think. I had a beloved teacher who said that the body is the horse we ride to enlightenment. The body may seem incomplete or flawed or like just a vehicle to cart around our brains. But what if it was really the doorway to knowing what is sacred in my life? How to live in this body with less judgement or fear?

How do I not just accept the physicality of me but inhabit it? What practices lead me into the wisdom beyond what is surmised or analyzed? Living, really living, is simple, but not easy.

So, for me, I do my little practice in the morning. I watch the field. I write. I pray. I do these not because of strong discipline or special insights. And self improvement only goes so far. No, I do these things to live!  As Rilke says "I have begun to listen to the lessons my blood whispers to me."

What truth is your body presenting to you today? Will that experience get locked into the vicissitudes of reaction and fear? Or will you trust yourself enough to feel what's really going on inside?

Dharma of Blood
Follow the blood,
the streams,
the rivers,
the great ocean
of heart and brain.
Moving silence
into the throbbing

Blood, the synthesis
of four elements:
air enriched,
water based,
metal in filled,
fire of soul.
Salty as the ocean.
Blue as the topaz.
Turbulent as the wind.

what is holy to God.
the manna from my mother.
the transmission of my father.

Peace to you today.

(c) Rick Sievers, May 2012