Sunday, June 9, 2013

Things are not what they seem

Though it remains hidden just outside ordinary awareness, the reality is that this very instant could be your last. There is a moment just around the corner that *will* be your last, and this will no longer be a theoretical matter. What if this moment right now really was the very last time you could watch the sun rise, smell the blooming spring flowers, hear the birds singing, or look into your lover’s eyes? We are so certain that another moment will be given. Whether it’s in thirty years, late next week, or later this afternoon, we will all die sooner than we’d like. We will leave this very special human place and experience, and return to the unknown. Lurking behind our daily concerns, our important to-do lists (spiritual and otherwise), just underneath the anxiety of our immediate embodied experience, hidden in the shadows of our uncompleted projects is this most alive and life-changing reality that we can never fully turn away from, that is knocking at the door of your heart, wanting to share something with you, inviting you to consider that things are not what they seem. 

In this very moment death is inviting you to touch it directly, to let it into your heart, and discover that it might not be what you have feared. You need not wait until the end of this precious human life to discover the miracle that is unfolding here, moment by moment. There is no death without life and no life without death; these forms co-arise, dance, and dissolve together. In those precious last moments of our lives, it is very unlikely we’ll find ourselves asking, “Did I become enlightened in this lifetime?” “Was I able to complete the spiritual project of ‘me’?” “Did I finally find a way to transcend the yucky, messy, gooey, vulnerable, groundless reality of this human experience?” “Was I able to complete all of the things on my to-do list of life?” Rather, if the research and our own deepest intuitions are any indication, there is really only one essential question at the end of our time here: “How well did I love in this life? How much did I open my heart to others? How kind was I to my own and others’ lived experience? How much was I willing to risk for love?” Let us take pause today and go ahead and explore this, before it is too late.