Finding Our Way
Can’t Find the Grand Canyon
We engage in practices to open ourselves and to learn what it means to be present in this Moment, rather than caught in an old personal story. Last night at 2am unable to sleep, I slid into chanting thinking that I should be asleep and that chanting would calm me, but the chant felt dense, lumpy. A Being-ness had come over me and chanting felt like floating up from a depth. Then I realized I was awake because I was in the Moment. I was in the place I seek. It was amusing really.
Presentness presents herself. Without a path and the learning from teachings, I might zip right by. We might zip right by. It’s like cruising along the highway, seeing signs for the Grand Canyon. “Gotta get there,” and pushing down the gas pedal. Drive fast, scanning, rushing. Got to get there. After a bit there are no signs. Somehow you missed it, missed the Grand Canyon. Because it doesn’t stick up. It is down in, this enormous cleft in the Earth. That’s how peace is, how the Moment is. It’s there, but we have to learn how to recognize it.
One evening on the mesa there was a big storm. I just had to go out into it in order to stop fearing the elements of this world. The wild wind, the rain nailing my face, a dark heaving sky. It has passions, the sky does. It wraps around me, then drops away, howling, the long cries of abandon surging down the canyon to the inscrutable purple gray wall beyond the third mesa outcropping. I finally let it run its myriad fingers through my hair, pummel my back, nudge me close to the brink. Lighting. Sharp cracks, a laugh bursting from a repressed man. We have to go out into our storms, meet them, feel them, be turned over and pounded, rather than running the other way, hiding in a dark hole. Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche said, “Lean into the sharp points”, which for me means enter the storm, eyes wide open, breathing in the power. As it roared, I thought, “Why have I been afraid of this?” I curled beside a kind tree, watched the raging. Calm came.
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