Friday, May 05, 2017

Friday Ramble - Always a Doorway

Every once in a while, something drops into one's life like a refreshing rain, and just when she needs it. In the January 2010 issue of the Shambhala Sun, it was an article called "It's a Pity to Waste A Good Crisis" by John Tarrant of the Pacific Zen Institute. I read the piece slowly, thought about it for a while, then tucked it away, sensing that someday the words would be a lifeline.

The magazine article exists in its entirety at Tarrant Roshi's own website here, and it is a powerful piece of writing, an eloquent reminder of something I am always forgetting and need to remember. Happiness lies within us and not withoutit is not irrevocably linked to exterior circumstances and exterior modes of being. We can embrace the ambiguous, the unknown and the ostensibly painful in our lives with open arms and rest in the sure knowing that there is beauty, balance, fruitfulness and an indescribable richness to be found in what Roshi calls "the warm darkness of uncertainty".

There were seven koans or sections in the Shambhala article, and I am particularly fond of No. 4: If You Are in a Predicament, There Will Be a Gate. It could not have resonated more if it had been written for my eyes only. We need to remember that mindfulness traces a powerful glowing doorway in the fabric of the universe, that there is always a doorway (or gate) for us when we need it. In light of recent social, environmental, economic and political developments at home and abroad, that knowledge is a fine thing to carry around in one's pocket. As I lurch along through cancer "stuff", I cradle the words in my own pocket like a mala, particularly the last sentence:

"... when my mind stopped reaching out and fell back into the warm dark of uncertainty, time stretched out infinitely on either side and there was a pool of joy that seemed bottomless—joy in breathing, joy in hearing the birds in the cold before dawn. Having cancer was much more exciting than sitting in an armchair watching the game on Sunday. And everything I looked at had the aspect of tenderness and delicacy. I looked into the checkout clerk’s eyes and saw the universe looking back."

4 comments:

My Journey To Mindfulness said...

Thank you

sending love and prayers...

Barbara R. said...

Yes!

Mystic Meandering said...

Love that quote too! A hardy Absolutely! And appreciate reading this today as well...
"Settling back into the warm dark of uncertainty..." - and just breathing... Yes

Tabor said...

I know this, but some warriors must battle.