Monday, April 16, 2018

Come Again

Come Again

            Your life’s history, while unknown to most citizens, is borne by you in memory and lifestyle. Unlike your laptop files, the contents of your entire life, while not always easily accessible, can never be erased. Barring injury, it’s impossible to leave home without them.
            A likely question might be: why would someone want to do a practice that forces a confrontation with this internal history. Surely, we all have plenty of obligations and promises to concern our energies daily without adding something that, at first hand, seems extraneous to more important duties. Ah, that’s the rub.
            In meditation, there is no contesting with memories or current desires. As you sit calmly with eyes closed, ideas, images, and urgent desires invariably emerge upon the screen of your mind clamoring for attention. Interestingly, no effort was made to invite nor sustain them or anything else that shows up in your mind’s eye. During these uninvited episodes, your unhurried disposition is simply to remain interiorly poised in silence, witnessing the changing contents. Aside from a sense of tranquility that gradually ensues, sitting there bodily and emotionally pacified is the adventure. Abstractly speaking, the question lingers: so…why bother, what’s the point?
            Skip ahead. You take a vacation to get away from it all for a week, heading westward all by yourself to a state full of forests. Northern Montana seems right. Arriving early morning, you quickly glance at a map and head for the Rockies. Being Autumn, you decide to look for blue spruces and sugar maple trees that might be suitable for tapping. Walking about, you are soon wandering off trails finding briefs mounds and ravines but hardly a few maples. Near noon, you forgot to bring lunch, and now are clueless of your exact location.
            The early afternoon sky turns cloudy and hides the direction of the sun. Wearied from wandering about for who knows how long and slightly worried, you ease down against an Oak. You question your agenda incessantly, your whole ambition for coming here seems absurd. As you continue your relentless self-accusations, a darkening overcast appears. Now what? Fatigued, you slip asleep.
            More than an hour passes. You awake unexpectedly rested. Rising, a mild shock of bewilderment runs through you. One hundred meters starring in front stands a magnificent, gleaming Castle. Here? In the forest? What’s going on?
            Walking toward the entrance, you feel strangely at ease. There, inlaid upon the massive door reads ‘Welcome.’ You enter. A spacious yet comfortable vestibule greets your view. Looking across to the far end, under the light of the crystal chandeliers, a wide, carpeted stairway looms. Fifteen seconds of walking takes you to the first step. Another sign on the banister: ‘Please Ascend.’ Your curiosity mounts.
            You look around with anticipation as you climb the stairs. Old worries fade by, emotional pressures and anxieties about the future seem to lighten with each step.  By the time you reach the fourth landing, you have more energy than when you started and feel more alert and trusting about yourself. How intriguingly strange! Finally, after pausing briefly at the top of the staircase, a mahogany portal beckons: ‘Please Enter.’
            You step onto a terraced roof high above the surrounding region. An eerie pleasantness and safety pervades the atmosphere as you investigate. Roosting on a nearby baluster, six crows amusingly announce your visit as the blue sky with its shining companion showers your presence. Peering pass the brass railing, Nature’s panorama lies before you, with all its trails, hills, valleys and more. Even your parked auto is obvious. You unobtrusively saunter about and gaze as you will---awed by the complex beauty before you.  

Who knows or even cares how many minutes passed. Finally, the cawing crows get your attention to look upward and spy them circling about an imprinted waving flag:  
‘Come back anytime…everything is yours.' Now you know how to retreat into your Citadel and rejuvenate for future skirmishes.
                                                                                                                                       The Wanderer


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