I was filled with sadness, a deep sense of loss. Every emotion is beautiful, every energy expands our consciousness, so now I do not try to shift immediately from loss. I stayed with it.
I wrote on Facebook:
Not a relative, not in Friend’s network, never met, yet a sense of loss. We walked the earth at the same time for many years, and so I knew Nelson Mandela, and so I sense that loss.
Then it moved. I began to feel I am sensing the sadness of the world. I sensed also that many are unaware of the passing of Nelson Mandela, but so many are aware, are feeling, expressing.
Once I wrote, the words are gone, and I move to the next.
And yet, here he is, resplendent, light, having shed his pain body, his material self, here he is. Look! In that vast mirrored lake within your heart, the stars in the Milky Way, in the minds of so many more than on the day before he transitioned. Today his essence is even brighter
Skimming through news channels, I noticed them talking about his life. We keep dying as we are living, yet that death keeps the living alive. That child, that activist, that revolutionary, the prisoner, the one in pain, the husband who divorced, the politician that Nelson Mandela had been passed to become the President, the Elder, the patient. A life largely lived in public and yet there was much that he kept private. All of it has passed – not gone away but transmuted into history, books, words, memories. Light.
The wonderful thing about him is : he lived. He dreamed. He followed his passion. He took actions. He won. He failed.He kept living until he was alive. He was inspired. He inspired.
It’s interesting – he once used words that Marianne Williamson had written, and since he was better known, they are usually attributed to him. This connection is beautiful and the message of the words now passes onto timelessness, into our collective memory.
For a while, we hold on – to our bodies, our lives, possessions, memories, words. Then, they all pass. But they are never gone for ever. The universe is a wonderful recycler!
So let’s see what comes forth, if I recycle the word death:
When Nelson Mandela died
Dying Encouraged Affection Towards Him
Hmm… that’ll do for now.
There are some phrases that have been going in and out of my consciousness for years:
Be in this world, but not of it
My dreams [as in goals] are not of this world
These phrases are becoming inter-twined with some thoughts that come whenever I read posts about how bad we humans are, or have been, for this planet:
Don’t waste energy in blame, even if it’s self-blame. It just ties up energy from doing something that we can use in improving what we feel we’ve done wrong. Not ‘someone else’ but ‘I’. What do ‘I’ do, that is good or not-good for the world, for the planet? How can ‘I’ change what I feel is not right? What shall I do about what I cannot change?
Then I wonder: at what point did humans begin to bring harm to this planet that is our home? What if we went back there? Can we change? Was it for instance, when we built houses? Then, can we, city-dwellers, town-dwellers, village dwellers, live as tribals do, ‘in the wild’?
I love Nature, I lived as much in my garden as in our childhood homes; but what I love about nature, are the beautiful flowers, the trees, the vistas. Back up there. Those vistas of rainforests could nurse blood-sucking mosquitoes, poisonous snakes and terrain difficult to walk through. So – yes of course I love nature, but bodies require rest as well as exercise, some comfort as well as challenge. That is where our ancestors, battling the difficulties of living in the wild, began to build houses which became increasingly separated from nature.
I am fortunate in that I live amidst greenery. I have lived in the past that I felt would never end, suspended on the 18th floor of a building, and the separation from trees made me ill. I know now that trees are not just physically grounding, but energetically and emotionally grounding as well. They help to ground or deeply root, center, expand both from roots and branches. So, I live amidst greenery. But can I live in the yard? Sleep on the rough grass, enjoy the mosquitoes, the strong noon-day sun, the thunderstorm, if it were not for the retreat offered by the structure of the house? No. I could not.
This is the challenge, isn’t it? If I dream of a world in which I am comfortable, I may be able to live in a world without doors, a garden of eden, perhaps, or heaven on earth, but in this world, the climate is always salubrious, the animals friendly, the people harmonious. Some time back, I began to encourage people to visualize their dream, to take time off and daydream, without guilt about wasting time or being unrealistic, to air out their dreams – perhaps long-forgotten memories, perhaps alternate realities – to their own awareness, until they find their happiness and bring it out to the everyday world. From my generation on, people have become far too pragmatic, daydreaming and idealism have been replaced by practicality, and it is no wonder that depression has become so common, even among teenagers.
I meet many people who don’t seem at ease in the world. At times, perhaps, we all feel that way. A stranger in a strange land. It is this disconnect, as if we are from another planet, another world, or just visitors on this one, that leads us to act irresponsibly. I have another theory as well – we as a ‘human race’ have lived as children and teenagers on the planet, and are now growing up, waking to our responsibility.
A mother does not blame or weep for her children’s child-likeness, and I doubt that Mother Earth, herself growing as we are, would be weeping either. If she does weep, it is for the disconnect a mother laments when she sees her child pulling away or mindless about the love between mother and child. What is really necessary to feel at ease on earth, is to deeply connect to her, to ground into her depths, feel our roots deep into the earth, spread all around her surface, and just a little under her varied surfaces. To feel our branches spread high into our amazing atmosphere and the stars beyond. If they were once our home, this is our home now, this universal being that twinkles as a star for other worlds.
Grounding and expanding, and then walking the waters, mud, grass, pebbbles of this earth, sharing with people, with animals, reveling in connection and service – these are the activities and feelings that help me feel at ease with the world. For we are all her children, and as we come to really realize that, in the sacred silences of a Gaia Minute, in daily hugs to our brothers, sisters, tree friends, animal friends and others, that sense of responsibility begins to extend not only to the earth, to all living and nonliving beings, but also, ultimately, to ourselves.
My dreams now are of this world that we are co-creating together, as we wake to the joyful awareness of our shared experience in this world.
A dear friend tagged the profile of a beloved cousin who has passed. Thanks to facebook [yes, let's always give thanks where it is due] I visited her profile. So many messages of love and sadness from the ones she knew while alive. She was a wonderful person.
I find myself marveling at how much wonder there is in this world. So many wonderful people; and some we get to know only as they leave, through the heart-felt messages of those who knew them when alive. To me, she has come alive today.
When someone passes into what is the Neuto zone, the zero world, the afterlife or whatever else we may call it, they are celebrated in the words that sing out from the hearts of those who knew and loved them. Those words bring them to life in a way they were not, while in this world.
In the same way, I got to ‘meet’ Prof. Park, Jae Woo after he has passed. Through his words, his works, the photos and memories of his students, he has come alive for me. ‘Why did you not wait for me to meet you?’ I sometimes ask him in my heart. One day in a smile meditation, he answered me.
But then that is another story.
Don’t get me wrong. The miracle of timelessness, of spirit, of the ever-present Now – this is not lost to me. It can’t be. It is what is. These are truths which don’t need my belief, my perception, my acceptance or even acknowledgment to be.
But that’s just the point isn’t it?
Here we are on an earth that seems so stable, so – just always here. How exciting to feel that we have come from the stars, from the stars. We forget, the Earth is also in space, hurtling through space, in fact. As beautiful a being in the firmament of the heavens as is Venus or the other planets and stars that twinkle in our skies. If, of course, we are lucky to see them, in the too well-lit cities we may occupy.
The real miracle is not that we can one day travel in space; the miracle is that we are on a spaceship; we are already traveling through space. And we don’t need bulky spaceships or months of training to do so. This miraculous planet has the ecosystem to sustain our life.
Now we know, and have experienced that time is not a constant, at least not as much as our clocks show us. Yet, isn’t that the real miracle? The sun still rises at a clock-time that our scientists can predict with far better accuracy than the fabled changeable weather. So does the moon. Rise and set – all known in advance. Even eclipses, when three space bodies align in miraculous ways, can be predicted, using those same clocks and calendars that sometimes we tend to decry as being ‘not real.’ We wake up, sleep, get dressed, go to work if we have a place to go to, or go about our daily activities, repeating them again and again, feeling a constancy of a body that is constantly changing, of memories that are never certain, or personalities that are tenuous.
Yes, nothing that we have made, as human beings, is ‘real’ or ‘really real’ or truth with a capital T. Even the sun does not really rise or set – it is the earth that moves in alignment with it. Yet, we live our lives with its rise and set, and so do our plants, animals – all living beings. Even non-living beings on earth are affected by the seasons, the climate, the clock times as we plant our seeds and harvest them.
We have all together, created a miraculous home. We are the essence of that Truth playing around in this miraculous playground. Enjoy it. For this is one miracle that does need our belief, our perception, our acknowledging to be. If we do not all play in this Grand Illusion, it ceases to be. Now what can be more miraculous than this – that billions of us are together seeing something that is not really real, as real? Solid? Here? Dying a thousand deaths which awaken us to life, and living a thousand moments that are as death.
In the Sync Gaia Hug initiative, we are seeking to remind people to come into sync. Look at the miracle of this – we are already in sync, and we have even hidden from ourselves this fact. Now we are waking up, and perhaps that is why this blog started with I words and has ended in We words.
Isn’t life just – miraculous?
October is like an in-between month. It’s in between hot and cold – whether it’s autumn or spring where you live, Miami is like an in-between place. It’s warmer than northern North America and South America now, so we get the gift of migrating birds. In the garden, I have spotted all colors. Every time I see a bird I haven’t seen before, my logical mind wants to know its name. The name of the species.
Luckily, a lesson I learned in childhood from J. Krishnamurti, saves me. Why try to classify the vibrancy I am seeing in front of me? Why not just enjoy this being flitting hither and thither? See its colors, its shape, its presence. Try to follow its movements from this tree to that. His flight helps me to take in the beautiful flowers that bloom this month, and are a little late this year. The harsinghar, or parijat, a tree that is fabled to have been brought to earth by the God Krishna. It’s a lover’s meeting tree. It is love’s meeting tree. Divine unconditional love. Ah, nothing in-between about that!
Hmm…and now I see that this is an in-between post. It got published while I thought I was saving it as a draft. Ah well, this is another gift. Of something that can keep growing even as it has already gone to the beautiful friends, known and unknown, who follow this blog.
I think I’ll leave it here. Experience this as an unfinished symphony. Not of the words that you are reading, but of the bird who is still singing.
Twenty some years ago a babe was born. He looked at his mother, opened an eye and…
“I was giving you a wink,” he told me this morning when I was regaling him with this story, for perhaps the 20-something’th time.
That moment, when two people look at each other, and a living being that seemed a part of me was now face- to- face, strangely unfamiliar yet so much more a part of me than any other being, for he had grown within me. We had grown together. Were you the one within me, I think I asked weakly. No wonder he winked!
With the coming of my first-born, many people moved to new roles. As I like to sing to him:
Nana, Nani, Dada, Dadi, Bhua, Mausi.
That means – paternal and maternal grandparents and aunts. Sounds better in Hindi somehow! He gives me a look which once was wonder, and is now gentle, compassionate. The roles are changing as that babe is now an adult and I am getting to be youthful again.
Happy Birthday, I wrote a card in the traditional style, and then Happy bEARTHday as I have learned from a friend on facebook, and as I was writing, this came through.
Happy bREATHday! How intimate the relationship between mother and child, that he does not have to even breathe before he is born. This was new for him. “I did not know that,” he said.
Ah, some things are still the same. I still have things to tell him. As I learn from him.
Happy Birthday dearest one, and if it is true that I sensed you gently pushing me towards the man who later was to be your father, and it is the child who chooses the parents:
May every breath be your rebirth.
Have you, have you, have you ever…
Have you ever danced in the rain?
Have you, have you, have you ever..
Have you ever felt freshness drizzling over your body?
Have you, have you, have you ever…
Smile Taiji’d in the rain?
Have you, have you, have you ever…
Have you ever felt the real freedom of independence?
When you can cast aside the umbrella and glow in the dance of raindrops?
Inspired by this photo, the monsoon rains in India and the enjoyable Independence Day gathering out in the garden while the rain drizzled down.
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