Saturday, August 11, 2007
Well, after two weeks in America I was actually ready to go back to Japan. But after three…that extra week caressed some unexpected, uninvited roots deeper into the homeland bedrock so that now I feel a bit of a ripping sensation, which is quite unpleasant. Three weeks was just enough time to for me to fall deeply in love again with all my friends, as well as feel more fully that extraordinary comfort in the love and support of family. My mother, father, and sisters pouring love and support and approval into me made the plane a bit heavy for take off. I didn't want to leave home.
Eli told a story about watching water snakes gracefully slither and dance through the reeds of the wetlands, and how the gratitude dissolved his fear of their poisonous bite. Even when the fear arose, he said, his appreciation opened up enough space for the fear to easily come and go, never causing a reaction that might trigger the sensitive consciousness of the snakes. One snake then actually came over and rubbed its body against Eli’s ankle.
“If you want to understand true love, you must BE true love. If there is not true love in relationship, the result is trouble.” Sasaki Roshi, now 100 years old.
The power of Gratefulness
Gratefulness often occurs alongside beauty apprehension, which moves one beyond the individual self and its problems. (Dogen: “To study dharma is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by all things.”)
Nyoshul Khempo once said that the moment of enlightenment is when we realize “the blessings that are always pouring forth.” I think that these blessings include the love that has permeated my life, peaking at me through many eyes. When I find myself basking in the glow of gratefulness and appreciation for these relationships, I find myself acutely aware of the preciousness of life, as well as the luminous, numinous quality of love. (Blessings are the sensual love pouring fourth out of the creative womb of life all around and within…)
Gratitude dissolves boundaries, opening the door for Love. Where there is gratitude, there is love, which is, as Rumi said, the fragrance of god.
I try to cultivate gratefulness and thankfulness for being alive at this extraordinary time. My body is healthy, precious, and breathing life that carries me deeper into pain, but also deeper into love.
This visit to America ripped open my chest and stood before me, wet eyes and rainstorms pushing aside the moonlight of my mind and thrusting grateful mind/man flesh into my heart. The penetration pushed me into a state of divine exposure and empathetic joy, while wearily my body and mind counted down the hours to departure…and now, it’s back to the moss, to the bowing and public bathing. Now it’s back to the dance and embraces of Terri and Ty and Emily and Karen and Damien and Tatsu and Tricia and Mayu and the Yanagis and almost as much love as I literally swam in at home.
I hold my heart with my right hand, slightly weekend by the weight of the gratefulness that is causing me to weep inside warm tears of light-life love I know comes from the divine. And it hurts. I miss you all already!! Oh god, I just want one more hug. One more conversation, one more walk, cup of coffee, kiss…Fuck this is great practice for that time when you or I die and when I will see you never again. This is just another great time to practice death and the impermanent, fleeting quality that marks the very essence of all that is. Here we go again…pain and suffering in the service of all that is holy. May peace be in you, my friends and family. And may we have many more meetings as long as we live. I’m in Japan, thinking of you all, and wishing you love without end.
Posted by David at 5:18 AM
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