A Time of Meditation III
The event about which I have focused in my last two postings is of nature mysticism which has been an important part of my life since childhood. In those years these experiences were embryonic but crucial to my development. Today they are formed, vital and central to my life. These events do not happen every time I go into the natural world. That is a good thing! If they did I might never go home, or to work or grocery shopping.
Being present to the leaves and then infused with a river are events which can be accepted but never forced, regimented or demanded. The only effort comes in long term preparation. That is, of developing a practice of softening the heart and opening the Soul so that when these encounters present themselves we can welcome them. These events come when they come. All we can do is open ourselves up in preparation. Grand vistas, canyons, rivers or unusual sites are not necessary. And at times are actually distractions. Ordinary leaves along a commonplace river are just as productive.
I do not go into the natural world to force mystic unions or for that matter even to have them. I go there to go there. I go to the natural world because I love being there. There is no intent to manipulate this in any way. Sometimes when I am very lucky the numinous moment emerges. These times come with solitude, focus, discipline and a willingness to take emotional, psychic and spiritual risks. Willingness involves the inclination to dive into the opportunity to go beyond, to let go of the normal boundaries, to let go of safety. The spiritual choice is to stay in this place and not flee back to the safety of the ego. It helps that these experiences often come as a surprise like a lightning bolt. We are in them before we know what is happening. At that point the only thing to do is to stay right there in the present moment.
To know the Cosmos one must see the stars and to see the stars one must be willing to come out from under the shelter of ordinary life. One must be willing to go out at night into unfamiliar territory. One must be willing to break many rules, sometimes talk to strangers, sometimes talk to strange people and sometimes appear to be a rather strange person. Most importantly one must be willing to talk to inner strangers. One needs to be willing to be open to the calling of the Cosmos to the craving for the deeper connection to one’s Soul and to the Soul of the World.