There’s something happening here. Here, inside of me. Deep within layers, underneath the skin, in the space where there is no such thing as “me” but only light that fills and spills and is.
I am traveling back, back, back to that place of knowing, of floating, of being the dew drop on the piece of grass, of being the piece of grass under the dew drop. My human shape disintegrates and I feel a rush, a gust of wind, a holy breath moving through me, lifting me up until I touch the sky.
I am the sky, the Earth, the expanse in between. I am nothing and I am everything, completely emptied yet filled to the brim. I have lost my ego-mind and can feel the eternity of this moment, the bliss of all moments, the perpetual birthing of moments within moments.
I rest. In the light within that pours without that flows in all directions, I breathe and know that I am safe.
I could stay here forever. Here, in the glow of the flickering flame, sheltered from the illusion of impermanence that has made the world go mad. It is here that I feel most well, most alive, free.
But now the light in the hallway has gone on, the toilet is being flushed, the smell of freshly brewed coffee wafts from the kitchen into my very human nostrils and I open my eyes to the dawn of another day. I feel my union with the sacred soften as I return fully to my earthly body and the stillness within scatters like confetti.
I am meant to be here. Here, on this planet, at this time, with these people. I am meant to experience this corporeal life, to learn, to grow, to heal the wounds that render me vulnerable, the soul scars that have yet to fade away. I have chosen this and I am grateful.
Yet, I struggle. Not with the choice itself, but with the balance I must achieve in order to deny no part of my being.
I want to be grounded. On this terrestrial plane, I need to be grounded. I need to feel my feet firmly planted in the soil and to trust my basic instincts of survival. I need to honour my tribe and treasure its history passed down through blood and bones and bedside prayers. I need to bite into the sweetest orange and savour its nectar as it drips down my chin, celebrating the humanness of the experience. I need to feel at home here. Here, in my human flesh, sharing the planet with other wandering souls.
But under the dark blue veil of early morning, before the sun makes itself known, as I sit by candlelight and bask in the wisdom of the ages, I often find myself wishing that the moment would not end, that the smell of freshly brewed coffee would not come.
It is not that I am unwilling to embrace my human journey, but that I am reluctant to let go of the powerful awareness of inter-connection that comes in those tranquil morning moments of peace and contemplation.
It is, I know, unnecessary to let go. The wise enlightened souls speak of mindfulness not only as a daily practice, but as an all-encompassing way of life, an acute appreciation of the present moment infused with a deeper awareness of the divine matrix from which all is born and in which all is intertwined.
But I am not a wise enlightened soul and often feel as though there is a rupture somewhere along my energetic landscape, a divide between my desire to be grounded and my longing to fly, and an inability to harmonize these two seemingly disparate aspects of my being, even though I know they are not entirely dissimilar.
Nothing in this world is wholly one thing or the other; everything exists in relation to something else. Humanity and divinity - like star-crossed lovers - cannot be kept apart for very long. They emerge from one another, transform into each other, and exist because of the other. Every human experience contains a speck of the divine, and every divine encounter is perceived as such because of this human experience.
Oftentimes, when I am in nature, I sense a joining of these two parts of myself and I become whole. I see my flawed humanness seamlessly intersect with the flawless light of consciousness that connects me to the trees, the lake, the top of the rocky mountain and I am filled with a kind of joy that is undefinable and limitless in its power.
But there are other times when, in spite of my best efforts, I become entrenched in the world of the mundane, like a spider caught in its own web. I become entangled, confused, trapped in thought and emotion, unable to unsnarl my limbs from the muddled mess I've created.
I get tired. My body aches. My resolve drains out of me drop by precious drop and my frustration builds. I hover somewhere between anger and sadness, feeling completely cut off from the Source from which I draw my strength. My peaceful morning meditations fade into the background, like a mirage I am not even sure exists.
Where is the balance here? Why - with all of the knowledge I’ve acquired and the bits of wisdom I hold in my hand - do I allow myself to get dragged down by the troubles of a society I know isn’t entirely real? How am I to avoid these moments of imagined segregation from the light within that pours without, that flows in all directions? Where is the map that leads me back home? Where is my guide in these troubling times?
“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear,” says a famous Buddhist proverb. I open my arms, open my heart, ask my teacher to find me. (Or whisper my name and I will find you.)
I am ready to be a human girl in a human world who never loses touch with the force that percolates under the surface. Ready to grow roots and wings, to kiss the ground, the sky, the expanse in between. Ready to be the curved line that both separates and connects the yin and the yang, to be the pivot around which the divine dance takes place.
Ready to learn how to seek nothing, grasp nothing, resist nothing. Ready to ask the hard questions and hear the hard answers. Ready to surrender to the Now - the wondrous Now that lasts but a moment yet extends until forever.
This student is ready. She patiently waits.