emptiness whose nature is compassion.
~ Atisha ~
Lately I have been feeling very blue, very backwards….as if this quest of mine was nothing, a failure, none of what I thought had happened had happened. I knew that this feeling was nothing unusual and that I was in good company in what I was going through, but still I grumbled about it to God: “Isn’t it time for another peak experience? It’s been so long!” But there was nowhere to go, nothing to be done….after all, I had gone too far to go back now. What else could I do but continue to free-fall backwards into Those arms?
Then last night I sat on my porch listening, listening to the steady thrum of the crickets and the soft sound of my rocking, and . . . nothing. No-thing, as the Buddhists say. And after awhile, I gradually, peacefully, slowly realized that there was no me. I did not/do not exist. No being. No God, either. It didn’t even particularly concern me that there was no one there to have these thoughts.
Only…love. No peak experience. Nothing dramatic. Just… “Ah. This is how it is.” Home now. The veil lifted, and I knew that now things would be different. Perfectly natural. “Oh. I got it.” It was also interesting that this ego here didn’t engage in its usual clamoring, just accepted its own nonexistence, relaxed, turned over and went to sleep. Love was alone. And in that aloneness is perfect happiness. It occurs to me to look back over the years when I was hoping for illumination that I panicked at the very idea of this kind of thing. Until…I didn’t. Until…it was time.
And yet…there is no time. There is no space. There is only emptiness, and that emptiness is made from love, from which all these things spring. We are thoughts in the mind of God.
And so the journey continues…. Your heart takes you to places that do not exist, where the snow falls gently and the wind comes from behind the clouds. And here, in this land, you can forget everything, even your own existence. There is no mirror to reflect you, no open door to walk through, just an endless landscape of love that knows no boundaries. And the wind is real and the snow continues to fall and the love continues, and will always continue. So you can leave behind those old worn clothes that you called your existence, those ways you used to walk when you thought you were alive. Because here in this place that is like no other there is the freedom you always knew, a freedom that belongs to love.
Do not be discouraged, do not ever be discouraged, even when you feel so lost and misunderstood, when the wheels of existence carry you always along roads you would rather not travel. There is this other land, this landscape that belongs to love. This is the place where the two seas meet, where existence reveals its secrets, where time uncovers what always was, even if you have never seen it before.
So why do we wait, feeling stranded, expecting something, when we are already at the place where the two seas meet, where the journey we call our self has already ended?
Do not worry. There is nothing to find or lose—the moon will always rise, the wind will blow apart the clouds and time will take you where you need to go. You are the place where the two seas meet, where love is uncovered, where silence is mirrored into sound. And yet we are conditioned to worry, to dream in a language that causes misunderstandings, to seek meanings where there is only the moon reflected in the water. We mistake our self again and again, looking for what cannot be answered. And yet there is always this other place, this vastness that calls to us, that draws us out of our existence. Remember it is always here. It cannot be anywhere else, just as love can never be somewhere else, because that would deny the very nature of love. –Llewellyn Vauhan-Lee, Fragments of a Love Story: Reflections on the Life of a Mystic