During a walk the other day I came
upon a tree whose name was Joachim. He was an oak, the kind one meets around
here in the South, with the broad crown of luxuriously spread thick branches
draped in Spanish moss and fern. Occasionally in urban areas Spanish moss is
replaced by Mardi Gras beads, hanging down from the lower branches and
glimmering in the sun. Other times they have black and white signs with
threatening red letters nailed to the trunk: PRIVATE PROPERTY. Joachim bore one
of these signs and though I would have ordinarily taken this as a sign to keep
moving, the tree was so tall and beautiful that I stopped to consider him and
allowed myself to enter a little reverie in his shade.
Looking at the sign brought a
feeling of sadness tinged with anger. What is our relationship with the living
world, truly? If the sign indicates that responsibility is being claimed for
the tree’s wellbeing and protection then yes, that is a worthy statement. Did
the owner assist the tree by mulc…
Some of us are born into exile. In the beginning, life is this fascinating kaleidoscope of colors, sounds and tastes, and at the same time an unbearable and terrifying assault on our senses. We feel too much, think too much, sense too much, perceive too much. As babies we sleep a lot. They say we are good babies, easy babies. We really just need healing time for the growing brain.
We live out a push-pull relationship with life. On one hand: an attraction to love, a deep longing for connection with Life, an innate curiosity to understand its different parts. An intense desire to belong. On the other hand: threatening energies, incessant soul-wounding, inexplicable fear. A progressive loss of innocence with every foray into the outer world. The inner world is a dark tangled forest we run to, equally scary, equally mysterious but subtler, quieter, seemingly safer.
We watch the adults around us with no concept of the past, no way of understanding they are the product of their own lives…
We are talking about inner freedom.
The ability to see things as they are.
To not hold on to things that
are bound to perish, and fall away
(good things, bad things)
but to be spacious enough to
accept and contain this -
Suffering can be turned to compassion
tightness can become mystery
and I, no more a living being merely
but a space where anguish, fear, grief and anger can be
related to as what they are:
waves in the ocean of body.
What brings you joy?
To trust life, to delve into mystery
knowing that life works itself out.
That's why traveling has always been exciting:
a most direct exercise in creation mechanics.
But what of the one who wishes to grow roots? To find
a community, allow the material aspect of reality to grind
(house, kids, family)
It is the same
principle, only the stakes are higher:
more attachment, more loss, greater sorrow.
The family yogi, the bourgeois yogi,
they have been criticised for staying safe,
wrapped up in th…