"Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.
- Rainer Maria Rilke
Since I last wrote you winter has faded into spring and I have returned from my travels with a new sense of hope and possibility... This year I had the opportunity to experience four consecutive springs; in Thailand, California, Florida and Colorado. In Thailand I sat in a silent Awakening the Sacred Heart meditation for 10 days as spring broke out in my heart. In California I saw the love of our community blossom in the fertile soil of our communion. In Florida, with my dying mother, I felt the fullness of the cycles of life, death and rebirth. In Colorado, sitting with , I let in the light of love and left the baggage of winter behind me. Everywhere new life is sprouting from old rotting systems, decaying beliefs and worn out patterns, creating compost for new ideas, opportunities and ways of relating.
"When spring comes the grass grows by itself."
- Tao Te Ching
I came home feeling a new sense of peace, which was soon jolted by being re-immersed in our frenetic American culture. I had a feeling of exhaustion just seeing and hearing about the chronic busyness that I knew all too well. It seems as though we carry busyness as a badge of worthiness or to excuse a feeling of guilt for not doing enough. While we complain about this frantic doingness, we continue to step on the treadmill. It becomes almost competitive – “I’m so busy! – You think you’re busy, well, last week I had 500 emails” -- and on and on…
What if we started promoting stillness, inner peace, and authentic relationships in our conversations? Could we just drop all but that which is essential and makes a difference? In the scope of the life we have been given, what is truly important? Will I be thinking about that new faster computer when I’m on my deathbed, will the flat screen TV that pounds me with relentless violence, bad news, new mood altering drugs and consumer products give me satisfaction, joy, or peace of mind? Let’s distinguish what’s really important in our lives and let the rest go!
What I realized on my return from my recent trip, is that something had changed inside of me. I no longer felt the need to be “doing” anything. Each phase of my journey brought me deeper into stillness. Gone was the frantic trying to keep up with the relentless thoughts, ideas and desires that usually filled my mind. I wasn’t laying impossible deadlines on myself or feeling that I needed to prove anything, or be anyone. Just being was miraculous enough! I can’t remember ever feeling so at home in the world. My perspective had shifted and my actions were coming from a different place than I ever remember.
"One's action ought to come out of an achieved stillness:
not to be mere rushing on."
- D.H. Lawrence
I find that when I act from the inner peace of stillness it is like a leaf falling in the snow; gravity leads the way, my actions are effortless and I leave an impression, which fades into the life nourishing waters of spring, feeding all manner of growth around me. My impact is on the community of creation, not my transient identity as leaf. If only we could listen to and surrender to the simple and natural cycles of life. What a joy to just “Be”. Life could be so simple, needs so fundamental, time so spacious. I know now what Jesus meant when he said, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin...”
Perhaps, in this state of still being, we would discover that the only two things that are truly important are to love and to serve. To love is to accept things as they are and as they are not, to give up our judgments and drama and embrace life, nature, and people as a miraculous unfolding that we have the privilege of witnessing. What else are we here for but to serve in the liberation of the human spirit? I wish I could say I was living in love and service all the time, but I recognize that it is the journey of a lifetime and I hope you will join me in the daily re-creation of this vision. It is to that end that I dedicate Conversations and our movement meditation.
Love and Blessings,
"It is the stillness that will save and transform the world."
- Eckhart Tolle