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What is the difference between
Making love, poetry, and a prayer?

Your tongue tastes like honesty
In my mouth.

I want to meet you in that spot,
Where God comes through.

This, this is a daily practice.

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This poem came out when I should have been listening.

 

All of the organized
and disorganized religions
and poetry
are no more than
beautiful word salads
blended teogether
in imprecise proportions
to feed us the unknowable
combination of nuggets
we each should be craving.

Will you pick through
and take only the bites
you already know?
Or invite your gut
to digest unfamiliar
and potentially dangerous
and even more potentially life-saving
new soul foods?

Or can you be brave
potent and broad enough
to close your eyes
open your heart
and lean your head up,
gape-mouthed like a newly hatched chick
and embrace what is dropped into you?

This isn’t something to work on, it is a celebration of life

At Kirtan on Saturday, for the first time, I reached a stillness so deep, that I could feel the clarity and intensity of my own heart beat like I was being rocked by a wave. I found a deep slow breath, a gentle placement of my closed eyes slightly up and centered. I felt my heart open. I became presence.

From there, I could open my eyes, smile, and see. Not look around – See.

There were children dancing joyfully, some were rambunctious, some cooperative, some silly. There was a flow to their play, coming together, and pulling back into their individual trajectories. The young warrior fathers danced with the children, gently powerful and potent. The young mothers held hands and danced and spun, or sat strong and ready as their little ones flitted over for a pat before going back to the celebration of movement. This observation landed in me as a very simple statement. I could see these families choosing to spend their Saturday evening together in loving joyful tribal community.

I felt these words: They are doing this right.

My lover danced in the joy of feeling his body. He invited me to dance, and I knew my place in this moment was to witness. He danced a lyrical communication of the mystery of spirit and love which I don’t yet understand. I feel honored to be his student in this. And he danced the longings in his heart, longings I also know well, and I feel honored to be one of his teachers in this. I felt sadness at my recent struggles with seeing him as a gift for me, rather than for this truth.

Again, words arrived: Hold this one lightly.

The older people and the young seekers, the guides and the musicians, were the roots of the room. I could feel them each, and I could feel them all, and I could begin to understand the mystery that I’ve always had, and always will have, a place in this continuum. Even before this understanding, I have offered myself in service as the child, the seeker, the lover, the mother. With this awakening, I will now be able to offer myself as the guide and some day, as the elder. And always as the seeker and the lover and the mother, and as the student and the teacher.

Here more words: I belong.

I reached these words in the stillness.
In these words, the stillness reaches me.
My mind is not here to make these words, it is here to understand them. I felt tender and naked from this human awareness, electrified and alive from my loving relationships, and harmoniously connected to myself. And I could see with clarity. I could feel what matters, how what matters is always in abundance, and how little the rest matters.

This landed in me as this simple mantra:
This isn’t something to work on, it is a celebration of life.

Holding the stillness and this mantra together, I allowed it to become an exploration.

This relationship isn’t something to work on, it is a celebration of life.

This child isn’t something to work on, it is a celebration of life.

This role isn’t something to work on, it is a celebration of life.

My work isn’t even something to work on, it is a celebration of my life.

The tears that accompanied this truth poured gently from my eyes, and I felt no need to hide them or wipe them away, so they created a sweet stream that caressed my face, my chin, my neck, and pooled in my heart.

This was gift enough, more than I had expected would happen, and then I received even more. As the evening began to come to a close, the last mantra was an invitation for each of us to envision the way in which we can use a portion of our lives in service to one another, to our families, to our communities, to spirit, to the earth. It wasn’t a call, or an order, it was an offering of the gift of knowing. In this sacred space, I received a clarity.

First and foremost, my service is love, and absolutely nothing else matters. Any detail of location, destination, logistics, who is there, what shape it takes, is secondary, or even insignificant.

I explored this.

What of my adult loving relationships? The answer was Love. Who to love and what it means for my future, is secondary. Because there is always enough love, and if this one beautiful person has his or her own calling, my love gives only one choice: joyous celebration. This isn’t something to work on; it is a celebration of life.

What of my children? Love. This, so simple. Nothing to engineer, nothing to do right or wrong. Lovingly witnessing their becoming and joyously celebrating their choices and empathetically holding them in their struggles, even if their struggles include me, is all I’m required to do. Loving is doing it right. This isn’t something to work on; it is a celebration of life.

What of home? Also simple. My home has spaces for stillness and spaces for joyous celebration for me, for my children, for whomever feels drawn to join us here. My home will be a place of refuge and community. For love. This isn’t something to work on; it is a celebration of life.

What of work? This one particular ego struggle became the lightest and most insignificant of my mysteries to understand. My employment can be my work, or it can be the source to fund my work. If it is the source to fund my work, it can also be an opportunity to live lovingly in every one of those interactions. This isn’t something to work on; it is a celebration of life.

This isn’t something to work on; it is a celebration of life.

So I set an intention to reconnect to this stillness, this mantra, during the next day, to allow it to become familiar, a new form of muscle memory. I realize this will be a practice. The next day turned out to be a day, precisely like every day, in which I was invited to contemplate connection, commitment, the preciousness of time, and living with purpose. It was a day in which I was invited to ask how I will choose to live this one life. And I know. And this knowing isn’t something I needed to invent or create or work on. It was given to me.

So, during the day, I experienced sadness about the times when I believed there was not enough. I felt the pull to drop back into that familiar story of scarcity and grief. And also, I breathed, I found the stillness. And I felt gratitude for this moment when there is enough.

And I experienced regret for my past actions when I was disconnected from living love, when I was driven by neediness or ego or my unreliable thoughts. I felt the pull of self-pity. And also, I breathed, found the stillness, listened to this awakening heart, and found gratitude for having made my own discoveries of doing it wrong.

And I experienced a joyful noticing of how the abundance I receive when I stopped trying to collect, is a profoundly infinite abundance my egoic mind never could have imagined in that misguided desire to control and predict. I found surrender.

I experienced longing for home. And in my breath, in my stillness, gratitude for the chance to create.

And I lived this one day as true to my calling as I ever have.
I honored love. I honored the struggle. I honored the path –
For myself, for my family, for my community.

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An understanding

My mind invites me to collect the data of this moment,
My mind would pretend to name it’s truth,
My mind is present in this moment, but it is not this moment.
There is no data, no analysis.
There is only this moment.

My heart invites me to feel this love.
My Heart would have me lean in or lean out,
My heart is present to feel this love, but it is not this love.
There is no sadness, no joy.
There is only this moment, and love.

My ego invites me to predict and control.
My ego would have me regret, anticipate, manipulate.
My ego is present to provide awareness of my Self.
There is no good enough or not good enough.
There is only this moment, and love, and awareness of self.

My body invites me to be industrious.
My body would have me pushing or pulling or leaving.
My body is present to know pleasure and suffering.
There is nothing to do right.
There is only this moment, and love, and awareness, and the ability to sense.

This moment, love, awareness, sensing,
These are the gifts that invite me to connect.
They guide me to gather with others
To connect minds, hearts, egos and bodies
Into a collective awareness.
To become One.