Words deliver only introductions to the art of being immersed in life …
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Spiritual knowing is not something that can be pinned down by specific words, because it expresses itself as a lived experience, moment by moment. But words can lead us towards a spiritual experience, just as certain images, sensations, or events can lead us towards something we sense is deeply meaningful. So, I have often been drawn to reflect on meaningful ideas in a more poetic or lyrical way than is offered by the usual expectations of prose, because in this way I can be less restricted by literal implications and more open to spiritual ones.
Here are a few offerings.
The Music of Belonging
Even a barely perceptible quiver,
or the slightest shimmering of light or sound,
is part of a larger flow of energy
from which it receives a life-giving power
and into which it ultimately returns.
What can exist outside the rhythms of life,
the rising and falling of things that happen:
lifespans unfolding, within and around us,
as tiny as a fleeting thought or feeling,
as common and recurring as a season,
or as vast as an unfolding galaxy?
And what happens when our thoughts and emotions
move into the currents of life around us
if not the making of a kind of music,
a counterpoint of interweaving voices
all contributing to a composition
that brings to life the way we participate
in the unfolding of universal life?
Any sound can be part of a melody.
Any movement can be part of a rhythm.
And different voices can come together
creating either harmony or discord.
But nothing happens that does not contribute
in an integral, interdependent way
to the music of belonging to our world.
Anything can nurture us
when we embrace it as part of who we are
anywhere, at any time—
“being together” makes us
part of the seasons endlessly unfolding
from the Origin of Life.
Life moves within the rhythms
created by our participating in
whatever is around us.
What is our reality
if not the music of always belonging
to what we are involved with?
To listen to this music
is to hear the sounds of the Seasons of Life
resonating within us.
And what could be more vital
than to be in tune with the way we belong
to the unfolding of Life?
Inside every selfless act
are seeds of coming-together,
grounding us in the wholeness of life!
Inside every selfish act
are seeds that keep us separate,
wedged in a dark corner of our world,
unlit by the light of our unity.
Inside every reason
is a risk of exclusion:
but when we embrace it with love,
it will always be an opening.
Inside every feeling
is a risk of deception:
but when it is grounded in love,
we can trust that it will nurture us.
Inside you it’s spring,
when you thrive so much
that you can’t look back
or to the future
because each moment
is so delicious.
Inside you it’s summer,
when you ripen so much
that you forget yourself
in the joy of being
a part of everything
in the world around you.
Inside you it is autumn,
when you relinquish so much
that there is nothing at all
you are not letting go of,
yet you feel like giving thanks
for belonging to our world.
Inside you it is like winter,
when you have warmed yourself so much
that nothing around you feels cold,
and everything envelops you
within a silence abounding with
meanings that you cannot express.
Not a day goes by that can’t be filled
with opportunities to welcome
what we do not know into our lives.
Who can claim that our understanding
of ourselves and the world we live in
cannot be replenished in some way?
When we act with the humility
of someone who knows that what we know
is always an incomplete picture,
or blurred by current circumstances,
even seeing familiar faces,
or doing a customary task,
can be a way of recreating
both ourselves and the world we live in …
By embracing our incompleteness,
we make ourselves ready to receive
the creative power of our lives.
What do we celebrate when we sing …
our technical abilities, or the song we are singing?
Why do we do the work that we do …
so we can assess our self-worth, or live a meaningful life?
How can we live most authentically …
by acquiring possessions, or by sharing all we have?
Our harvest is always ready
when the work that we do is to love.
Our tables are always prepared
when what we provide is who we are.
There is always good food and drink
when everyone we meet is a friend.
There is always an abundance
when everything we do is a gift.
Our song is always beautiful,
when its melody comes from our hearts.
Our presence is always needed
when all that we bring is our coming.