Wednesday, November 19, 2014

be present, even in grief, it's the doorway to God


If I’m present I’m really alive.
It’s not the only game in town, and (AND) it’s necessary to at least two of the other great games of this overall game called “being alive.”
-- love

Another essay could be written ( and has been, search through the blog) on the impossibility of happiness and love without being present. Discover this for yourself, or transmit any time of un-happiness or un-love to a time to happiness or love by becoming present.)

And there’s one game that can be played from not being present, and often is, and it’s a big and fun game in life. It’s this one:
--making money.
Lots of people have discovered that it’s a lot more fun and lot easier and lot happier ( and….full of love) game if played from being present. And it appears that a messy version can be played, and even played well from what I’d call, copying Gurdjieff and many others, a state of “sleep.”

And then the last great game…
--Service. Helping others. Making a difference.

Ah, me oh my. You can be of service and be asleep, and it can work, but it’s a perilous situation. If surrounded by peaceful and almost saintlike people, who are also good at self care, you / one can get away with being asleep.
And, on the other hand, burn out, and grumpiness and feeling ripped off, can be so prevalent. There is a great passage in Brothers Karamozov, where a gal admits that she has a hard time give to the poor because they aren’t sufficiently grateful.
Lots of prayer and quiet time, which is often close to being present, can help people get away with being of service without a practice of being present, but usually, the people you are serving will suck you dry, since there is really no you there to be around them, just your good deeds.

And that’s that.
There is one more great reason to be present and it’s almost as if it’s your way to salute the universe for the wonder of being alive. Which is kind of like happiness, but on a quieter and more reverent sort.
And being alive is the gift and the glory.

And here we shift to the second half of this discussion, a “harder” part, and it is about his: how to be present when someone we love dies.
They are gone.
No longer in our lives.
We are still alive.
They aren’t.

This can hurt.
This can wound so deeply our whole lives are turned inside out.
Rumi’s endless poems of love, which he didn’t write, but shouted out while whirling and his disciples wrote down, came from his grief at this beloved mentor and enlightenment friend, Shams, being gone. The suspicion is the jealous disciples and even some of his own children murdered Shams.
And in that grief, plunged to the depths, he found a love and poetry that has nourished our souls throughout the ages.

And if we aren’t Rumi ( yet!), what to do?

Be present.
To reality.
Reality is what we see right now. What we hear right now. What we are sensing in our bodies.
In our bodies the grief may be surging in great ferocity, and we can always meet that with awareness. What ever we are sensing, we can be aware of those sensations in the moment.
Moment by moment.
Breath by breath.

And this too, be can be aware, that we are alive, that we are aware, as we sense this sensation of grief inside us. Balancing that with awareness of gravity and light and breath and sound, as per yesterday’s blog on Ten Fingers, Ten Toes, Belly, Eyes, Ears and Nose, might make it “easier,” and no matter.
We are alive.
We are in love with these sensations, or we could be, as this is the way to honor our life exactly now.

And then, there can be suffering. Pain is one thing, suffering another.

The suffering is not real, but always sets of words, always of the sort that “This should be different,”  or “That should have been different.”

That is, we are demanding that Reality change to suit our wishes.
The elephant should be a card table. Impossible.
The rabbit should be a dog. Impossible.

This past event should never have happened. Impossible.

To fight reality brings suffering which is different than pain. Last weeks essay on the four questions and the turn around can always get us out of the suffering.
The pain remains as long as it remains.
And when we are present, we are riding the surf of reality, no matter how rugged.
Something is being ripped open, and in the stillness of not filling our minds with all the words that create suffering, and in the hot furnace of sensing the actual grief in the moment, something new can be born.

What it will be can’t be predicted.
The present can point to and wish for a certain future, but reality can play funny and beautiful and mystical games with us.

That’s it’s job.
Our job.
To be present and love what is.

This is either too many words, or not enough, and words are all a bit of a lie, and maybe they can point to the rose garden. Maybe we will walk there. Maybe the thorn will prick us deeply and we can be aware of our wound.
Maybe we can look at the sun reflecting in the drop of blood and see the meaning of our love and our lives.
Who knows?

If we are present, we’ll be there to find out as we discover.

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