Friday, May 21, 2010

The ocean

Last night I had a really fun date with "the kisser" as he is known to my friends.  We've moved beyond that and it feels so good to have human contact again.

This morning though, I woke up feeling very blue and I thought I was getting sick.  I think it's just my allergies acting up.  I did my usual morning readings and meditation and still, I couldn't shake the anxiety and feeling of dread.  It's not quite gone, but as always, I found a reading that really helped me.

This is from "The Wisdom of a Broken Heart" by Susan Piver.  

"A lot of people believe by thinking positively and expecting good things to happen, you can make good things happen.  Recently, I spoke to my friend Stephen Mitchell, an internationally respected translator of the world's great wisdom texts, including the Tao Te Ching, the Bhagavad Gita, and the book of Job, about this subject.  I asked if in his lifelong study of the core teachings of all religions, he'd ever come across that idea.  I wrote down what he said because it was so excellent. Here it is:

'The teaching of every one of the great sacred texts is that control is an illusion.  When you understand that ultimately you are not the doer, you can step back from yourself.  That is the only path to serenity.  In other words, letting go of the illusion of control, and realizing that you never had control in the first place, allows you to live in the most dazzlingly intelligent, beautiful and kind reality that you could have ever imagined -- and beyond what you could have imagined.'
When I can relax enough, I see that, just like me, everyone -- regular people, great superstars, and profound sages -- probably all started out worrying that the world was going to eat them alive or that they simply weren't lovable enough.  We are all just looking for some kind of happiness.  Sometimes things work out for us, and sometimes they don't.  It really doesn't matter.  Eventually, all our hopes and fears are going to dissolve, and at the end of our lives, according to all the deathbed reports we've ever received, the only thing that will matter is how loving and brave we've been.

All those dying people can't be wrong when they say that all the things you want and all the things you dread are just like waves in the ocean.  Eventually they just become reabsorbed into the vast play of the sea.  And you know what?  The ocean doesn't care.  It never gives up.  It can accommodate it all, gentle waves that lap the shore and those that roil up ferociously, tiny tidal pools and great, freezing depths.  The real secret, the great ones say, is that we are much more like the ocean than the waves.  Underneath all our hopes and fears is profound stillness and the memory of how to return to it."

When I read that, it didn't eliminate my allergies or make me feel ecstatic, but I was reminded that my work here on this earth is to be loving and brave and I have to give myself high marks for that. 

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