Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Overcast


It has been unusually cold since I arrived, although the days still become quite hot by mid morning. Today, the chill remained with an unusual cloud cover that began days ago with the first downpour. Today and yesterday, our holiday, I stayed put here at the nunnery, quietly in retreat and had such a glorious time! During the end of the week, after teaching 4 classes a day and having numerous other tutorials with lamas, (one on one session), and with some wonderful young visitors from Ladakh, I had it! I couldn’t speak one more sentence about “going to the shop” instead of “I go shop!” One lama, Khenpo Tsultim; he understood the most, I think and so, I have been hibernating as I end my third week in India. There is more contentment, I think and less need to go out just for the sake of moving and going somewhere. I remember a line from a dharma text,; the propensity for movement. That habitual need to move for the sake of moving itself; this phrase has come back to me as I watched myself make decisions as to what to do yesterday and today.

After breakfast, knowing that I had all this time off, I wisely chose to return to my room and wait for direction, for guidance, and receiving it, I simply stayed here, hardly leaving the nunnery gates. There was this moment of such clarity when I saw how much we move at such breakneck speed but aren’t really aware of why we’re going! Do we really need that much? In that moment, everything stopped. In that instant, something returned to my mind, something I thought had been lost or that I had been seeking. As if a simple and small puzzle piece moved into place, and I was whole. Here, in this moment and in this place, is everything. The Beloved is here in each face and in the eyes of everyone here at the nunnery. This kind of clarity is completely liberating.

I then, open the Course in Miracles to this, Text, Chapter 22, VI, para 6:

Child of peace, the light has come to you. The light you bring you do not recognize, and yet you will remember. Who can deny himself the vision that he brings to others? And who would fail to recognize a gift he let be laid in Heaven through himself? The gentle service that you give the Holy Spirit is service to yourself. You who are now his means must love all that he loves. And what you bring is your remembrance of everything that is eternal. No trace of anything in time can long remain in a mind that serves the timeless. And no illusion can disturb the peace of a relationship that has become the means of peace.

Such a Gift and such Grace.

I spend the morning writing and come to the place where I can stop, usually for the day and I read and I rest and I have found an inner sanctuary and peace I only dreamed of in the past.

Listening to the kyrie on my laptop I breathe into a contentment.

Clarity; that is the overwhelming feeling I have found about my life and my work and even the reason for being here in India. I’ve returned to the Course reading it daily and referring to it throughout the day, I have found even a greater wisdom than I knew that surpasses the teachings I have sought these many years. I return to the home of the Friend, Jesus, my elder brother, as one comes to sit in the kitchen of a great and true friend. So simple and so obvious, but the trek and pilgrimage I have pursued was apparently necessary for this very clarity. What a word, coming from the Latin word for clear. As if looking into water, pure and deep. What else to cherish; what else to give, but That?

Here is a picture of one of my students, also from Ladakh, Konchok Lhadon, who follows me as a child follows her mother. She loves to walk close to me so that I put my arms around her. She is too sweet. I have found this great welcoming and a word that I have never attributed to myself but has been spoken from a number of the nuns and people from the shops I have reconnected with here- “beautiful.” How funny is that. Here in this ani gompa, I feel beautiful at last and I see beauty in these teachers of mine. Attached is her photo from last year; still filled with her innocence!

May your Thanksgiving bring you peace and contentment as well, as some Westerners and I will head downtown tomorrow for a Thanksgiving of palek paneer and dal! What Joy..

May you all be well.
And may the beauty that
Transcends all appearances
Of separation
Be yours and mine always

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