By Donaia De Marco
Early this morning looking out my open window over the treetops and rooftops, the air suddenly tickled my consciousness with a fresh coolness and I smiled…inhaling the crispness of fall. Yes, it was a touch of yet another season about to begin, the return of a wonderful time of year up here in New England. Spring is nice, too, but partly because of relief and promise. Fall is about extension…fruition and harvest…abundance and prosperity…and the promise of crisp, clear air, blue skies and bright earthy colors replacing the hot, heavy humidity of summer on the coast. Oh course, we may have to go through a hurricane watch before the harvest festivities begin. But we can sense a vibrancy coming forth. We've had quite a wet summer, and the other day an old-timer told me she could feel a brilliant fall this year. Last year, I wrote about sowing what we reap and spending the year getting some lessons in Faith. Last month, the column ended with a reference to empathy as a consequence of an evolving experience of Oneness. This fall finds Faith taking me deeper and deeper into the mystery of Oneness. I am changing, first blossoming into a quieter soul and now re-learning to relate harmoniously in a world I have placed so many judgements on.
What I have learned is that having faith in something leads to an ever-deepening relationship with that something. Richard Moss uses phrases in The Second Miracle such as "the present is always infinite potential," "attention as an act of worship," and "a recognition of Immanence as the true Kingdom." As we focus our attention on Oneness with All That Is, we may just uncover a world of the pure heart…a much more harmonious world than the world we've created/inhabited thus far. Beneath the appearances of separation brought on by judgement and scorn, I'm discovering a serene state of being that resides within All That Is. This Beingness has been given many different names in the different sciences and religions around the world. Its essence is Love, an energy of cohesion, which calls into assembly. This "It" seems to be malleable for we seem to be able to shape It and give It our flavor. Our best translation of It may be kindness…a feeling that lightens our gut and brightens the day.
When we read The Poinsonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver and get our guts wrenched out by how we shape a world with our misunderstanding and mistreatment of one another, we get clear on the apparent absence of "It". When we read the book and experience the simple moments when the veil is lifted, we catch a glimpse of an almost imperceptible kindness and support of one another especially in the face of giant forces of Nature. When we read that book, we feel an aching in our hearts for a time when our lack of empathy will become a thing of the past. Faith says, "So what if we're stumbling along. With a focus on Oneness…wholeness, balance, and integrity are a delightful adventure." When Moss calls attention an act of worship, he is touching on a very delicate practice. A Zen master once said, "When cutting carrots, cut carrots." Having faith that we'll find indescribable beauty if we look deep enough is really a form of practice. And beauty is an understatement for words escape us in the Presence of the Divine. Then, all we do is care…be…appreciate…enjoy…in silence. We call it awe. Then we glow/grow. No matter what.
Ever met someone whose self-proclaimed goodness is a front for some of the nastiest behavior imaginable? They're a mischievous lot because in our naiveté, we went opened-hearted into the appearance…and got cut to pieces by their machete tongues. They put us on notice to be on guard around them, reinforcing old beliefs that this world is not a safe place to inhabit. What was being demanded from us is that we wake up our ability to envision heaven on earth. Sometimes we stick around and try to fix the problem…often to get hacked some more. Often we leave them to their own devices and to those who would be duped…with prayers of intervention coming sooner or later…from somewhere…to right whatever might be off kilter. These teachers may be who Lynn Andrews refers to in her book Medicine Woman as "Heyoka" teachers…those who kind of slap it to ya. My own experiences with these kinds of teachers remind me of the scene in The Last Temptation of Christ when Jesus gently told Judas in the garden that it seemed to him betrayer was a much more difficult role to play. Perhaps what is being suggested is that any one of us may have to play this role at some point in this world of time
Practicing faith in the principle of Divine Order is a major challenge on the spiritual journey toward the creation of a sense of Oneness. Feeling when it is time to stay and time to leave, time to speak and time to listen, time to move and time to rest is a good way to pick up the rhythms of the universe. I learned that playing in a bell choir. All us single isolated notes standing next to each other, flowing into one another with the wave of Wendy's wand like pixels on a computer scream creating harmony, melody, animation…just by movement and rest. Practices were fun. All us little pixels got to experience a wavelength or two. We learned to ride the tide, skiing the moguls on spiral spring legs, blending our notes into harmony and melody, sending forth vibrations in purest tones…lifting our Souls into smiles. We recognized when we had It…had done It…were in It. We learned timing, my friends. At first, I learned to play bells by counting it out…eyes riveted on the page, ears fixed on the blend, body poised in readiness to move. I even broke a sweat. But, as I got a better feel for our tonal blends, I relaxed more into the play of notes. And then I began to let the rhythms take me. Yummy….we could feel for one another. All those half note and whole notes, crescendos and rests written in strict order so neatly on a page. Who would have guessed what humans would do with bells in their hands, following tight structure on a printed page and simply feeling for one another? I think it's an example of transcendence. By sowing the seeds of Oneness, we reaped the fruits of beauty, harmony, and the joy of playing in unity.
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