"Mindfulness Practice isn't just about escaping to some magical inner realm devoid of life's challenges. The Practice is about calming your mind and opening your heart enough to engage Life directly, to be more fully Present in a kind, clear, and helpful way."

Your MMM Courtesy Wake Up Call! Musings on Life and Practice by a Long-time Student of Meditation.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Peek A Boo!

"Birth and death are only a game of hide-and-seek. So smile to me and take my hand and wave good-bye. Tomorrow we shall meet again or even before. We shall always be meeting again at the true source, Always meeting again on the myriad paths of life.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh, No Death, No Fear 

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us “the universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. 
 ― Albert Einstein

Thich Nhat Hanh
I guess it's fitting enough.  It is autumn, after all,  and the world outside continues to blaze its way through its seasonal Grand Transition.  As I raise my eyes to the window, the brilliant reality of Life/Death is played out again and again as leaf after leaf departs from it's particular tree of life and cascades to rest with its brothers and sisters as a multicolored carpet on the ground outside the window.

I learned yesterday that Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh  suffered a severe brain hemorrhage on November 11 as he was convalescing in a hospital in Bordeaux, France.  The announcement from Plum Village said that Thay still seemed aware of his surroundings and could move his hands and feet, and that even at the age of 88, a full recovery still seemed possible.  They requested that people throughout the world join with them to send the energy of healing and love to Thay in their meditations.

 I've done so.  I hope you will, as well.

Like millions of others, my life and practice have been touched deeply by Thich Nhat Hanh.  I was fortunate enough to experience his Presence personally as I attended a five day retreat, 
(READ MORE)
and then a day of mindfulness, with Thay and members of the Order of Interbeing a couple of decades ago.  Even now, I can bring to mind images of his gentle strength, deep compassion, and brilliant, clear mind.  A prime practitioner of what he termed Engaged Buddhism, the clear and compassionate consciousness that fueled his tireless efforts for peace and reconciliation will continue to send ripples of sunlight throughout space and time. 
As I brought Thay to mind today during the noon #OMG! Meditation Vigil,* I was immediately bathed in that sunlight.  Even now, as I pause and breathe for a moment, I feel its clear brilliance sitting here at the computer.  At the risk of sounding like a raving lunatic, I know that the essence of who Thich Nhat Hanh is,  is sitting here peering at the world through my own two eyeballs.  At times it sends my fingers dancing into wordplay across this keyboard. Although Thay and I are separate beings, we are not separate.  To use one of the terms he invented.  We Inter-Are.

(That goes for you and me too, buddhy.)

During the noon meditation, I realized quite clearly that the energy of love and healing that I am called to generate through my mindfulness isn't about whether Thay remains with us in this dimension.  Whether he is manifested as human mind and body or not, his "full recovery"is, I think, already a done deal.  Through Grace and the diligence of his practice, he is already home free.  Throughout space and time he meets us in the One Love.

Seeing that, I can easily honor Thay's request -- and smile.

I can feel some sadness, of course, as I imagine that those close to him, those who experienced his personal presence as parts of their daily lives, may experience the immediacy of grief.  That is a normal aspect of the profoundly mysterious tapestry of Life/Death we are weaving together.  I still experience moments of tears as I think of the recent "loss" of loved ones, and tears thinking of the losses suffered by loved ones, within my own circles of friends and families.  I've learned not to fear those tears, for they are often the keys that open the gate to the Boundless Heart of the One Love.  They are a vibrant part of my current Practice.  I've found that in the sunlight of Awareness, those very same tears produce rainbows of Gratitude
and Fulfillment.  Like Yogi Jesus once proclaimed "Blessed be those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."

I am grateful to Thich Nhat Hanh for helping me to see that.

Now, sitting here gazing at the carpet of leaves outside the window, I hear Thay's words echoing in the wind.  "Look deeply", he whispers.  

Doing just that, I see that what were once individual leaves from separate trees have disintegrated into the bosom of mother earth.  Then, with melted snow coursing through their veins and the warmth of the sun cradled in their hearts, they leap forth to manifest as new life in the dazzling glory of fresh spring blossoms.  

Peek a boo!  

As an unfathomable eternity sings through the magic of this very moment, I can only smile, 
-- and say hello again!


*#OMG! Meditation Vigil began with the blossoming of #Occupy Wall Street! in the fall of 2011.  Our #Occupy Meditation Group! has been sitting at Noon, Monday through Saturday, on the Town Commons of Greenfield, MA, since then.  

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

many thanks, dear Lance. This is a blessing to receive. I wrap myself in it like a warm blanket. And give thanks for the many blessings.
Suzanne Carlson

Lance Smith said...

De nada, Hermana. I'm glad it got ya covered!

Louis Fonseca said...

Thanks for sharing dear brother Lance. Namaste_()_

Lance Smith said...

You're most welcome, brother Louis
One Love _/\_

Anonymous said...

Beautiful words to reflect on as I am immersed in this game of peek a boo, which is not always fun for all participants!