Monday, June 18, 2018

SEEING WITH THE HEART


The smell of damp earth is healing to the soul. I spent the morning turning over soil and pulling weeds. The previous two nights of soft rain broke a drought that almost killed the plants I’ve loved and nurtured for many years. A week ago, I decided to water the brown grass and give a soft soaking to bushes, and trees. At first, I felt guilty because water is sacred in this semi-arid land and everyone else in the neighborhood is living a water conserving life with dry earth and yellow grass. Then I remembered something I’d experienced in the past. When I water the plants, clouds appear. Perhaps it is because like attracts like, or perhaps the coming clouds speak to my instincts before consciousness receives the message. The important point, is that I couldn’t stand the drought anymore, acted on it and the rains came. Nature is a great teacher.
A week ago the green was brown.

“Energy flows where attention goes.” This is a popular saying but despite its simplicity, we seldom know how to apply it. Our attempts to be rational law abiding and factual according to common wisdom sometimes goes against natural laws. I’m still working on the application of this cosmic principle.

It isn’t unusual to feel depressed or sad in the month preceding one’s Birthday.  However, this year I had quite a dip. It seemed like my whole life had been a useless struggle to climb a hill covered in wet slippery clay and now I was still at the base tired and much older but without visible progress.  Then it occurred to me that I held hopes and expectations for many years that I would eventually achieve certain goals.  Then it occurred to me that the important question was; were these goals based on inner truth, or on assumptions about what success should resemble. 

 Still, that earlier feeling of powerlessness and insignificance required more than improving the garden.  I haven’t improved the world by holding consciousness raising workshops, running campaigns for saving nature, interviewing important people,  starting a charity, or being a top artist but the warm mud, little insects I turned up with my shovel and the intimacy of physical contact with Mother Earth literally brought me back to real life. 

I regret that it’s unlikely that I will ever travel to Europe or Asia, and even a trip out of state isn’t practical right now. However, I acknowledge that nothing in my current life seemed possible a decade ago.  Life isn’t predictable so no use responding emotionally to a possible outcome before its real. 

However, reality itself is a pretty tricky shapeshifter. The best and the worst of humanity seem to be in constant moral combat over reality. Yet opposition never wins the wars since each side sees itself as the right side. Lacking final resolution defeat and victory are temporary. It reminds me of a saying my grandmother often used: “He who is convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”  

While walking in and out of the house during the day, I caught bits of TV news, political interviews and opinions that PQ was watching. It reminded me that hate is another kind of attraction and its magnetic grip is currently holding the media hostage. They expect to put their world back the way it was by analyzing and criticizing. I don’t like the way things are unfolding in the government either, but I feel uneasy with this obsessive attraction. It reminds me of the way moths can’t resist flying into electric lights even if it kills them. Too often while fighting an enemy; we succumb to taking on their ways. If it goes unchecked, we become just a mirror of what we find horrific. 

Again, this is all very tricky. We can’t ignore moral issues in good faith. Today’s news focused on the inhumane practice of separating the children of refugees seeking asylum in the U.S. from their parents. This practice is horrible and it will likely create emotional scars for life.  It reveals that our nation has serious heart trouble, and this involves lack of empathy and a lack of courage. No amount of rational efficiency can compensate for a frozen heart.

The heart is the locus of intention. It mediates between the lower chakras based on instinct and the upper chakras connecting us to higher mind and offering a perspective beyond the individual. A sick or undeveloped heart doesn’t properly deliver life force throughout the body on the physical level and throughout the emotional body connecting us to the rest of the world. 

Although chakra is an ancient Sanskrit word, it is often mistaken for a New Age term. It describes the circular nature of the life force. When the circle is broken or has a weak link, dysfunction is a likely result. Obviously, this is true on many levels from the atomic to the cosmic.  If one chakra is weak or out of balance, the entire system is affected. 

“Let your heart be at peace.
Watch the turmoil of beings
but contemplate their return.

If you don't realize the source,
you stumble in confusion and sorrow.

When you realize where you come from,
you naturally become tolerant,
disinterested, amused,
kindhearted as a grandmother,
dignified as a king.

Immersed in the wonder of the Tao,
you can deal with whatever life brings you,
And when death comes, you are ready.” 

― 
Zhuangzi

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