Sunday, December 30, 2012

All the way inside the purifying fires of gratitude…

When we become aware of the specific ways we distract ourselves from the intensity of immediate experience – including through our spiritual beliefs and practices – we can then make a choice to re-embody. We can return to the life of the senses, to our open-hearted dedication to the truth of our experience as it is, to our uncompromised commitment to kindness, whatever appears. In this field of heart-centered, compassion-infused embodiment, we can no longer pretend we’re not feeling what we’re actually feeling; whatever guest arrives in the home of the heart is welcomed, allowed in, taken directly into the inner sanctum, and held tenderly. Inside this secret chamber, our neurosis, our fear, our heart-wrenching humanity, our nakedness, the movement to reach some final landing place where we’ll remain forever untouched by the crushing power of our vulnerability – all this begins to become dismantled, dissolved, disassembled, and taken apart by love. It’s not always easy, often not fun, but somehow we know that falling apart into a radical intimacy with embodied experience is the only way Home.

When love is revealed to be the ultimate organizing principle of this unprecedented human experience, a wild grace steps in and takes over, showing us at the most profound level that this life is not and never was a problem after all, that needs to be transcended, transformed, accepted, or even healed. Something else is calling – we are being summoned by that same energy of love that assembled this precious universe and this tender exposed heart, particle by particle, cell by cell. When this call is let all the way in, grace in all its forms is unleashed throughout our lives – sometimes fierce, sometimes sweet, always ultimately unknown, and often unbearably transformative. Gone is the scramble into some “higher” state of consciousness, into “no longer having a self, into “no longer experiencing conflict,” or otherwise into our mythologies of awakening, fables of enlightenment, and fantasies of permanence. In just one moment all the way inside the purifying fires of gratitude, we sense that maybe we had it backwards all along. Perhaps the journey was never actually about how to get more for me, how to get to God, how to get more love, get “permanently” awakened, or to wiggle into some sustained transcendent experience, and then to tell others all about it.

By some grace, the journey from “here to there” dissolves right before our eyes. The rug is pulled away, all spiritual reference points vanish, and in its place only love remains. The journey from “here to there” is replaced with “there to here,” with love, not “me,” running the show. “How will I pour forth through your particular body, using your individual senses, expressing as your humanity,” love asks? “How will I take shape as your hands to touch another so sweetly, as your words to speak kindness, and your being to presence the sacredness of the other as they are?” This life is then turned upside down, in total wonderment, filled with an unfathomable gratitude, and taken over by an excruciating curiosity as to how love will reassemble your world.