An Experience is What We Seek
Not long ago I wrote a blog about being polyamorous by nature, though not about women because I have always been monogamous, but about the world and my life in it. Then, in a recent note to a long-time friend, I had a series of realizations come together that finally explains myself to myself.
It helped me first to see that it is not possible for me to confine my love, appreciation and wonder to any one person, place or thing. In a world that insists on confining ourselves to one focus, I finally feel free in realizing I am not that. For example, my love for my long-time friend need not limit my love for others in a myriad of ways. Or, my deep appreciation of Crater Lake on a vacation with another friend need not negate the fulfillment I had on a more recent trip to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens with a different friend. They can all co-exist at the same time.
I am deeply comforted by this idea. Not only do I not have to choose one person, one experience, or one thing over another; I don’t have to fear choosing. I can relish them all in their own unique ways.
This all aligns with the recent writings of Father Richard Rohr where he reflects upon the all-ness or whole-ness of creation, that holiness resides in all things at all times. “Everything belongs,” he tells us. Nothing can be excluded, because it is only in our perception that anything can be excluded. We are linked to all things at a most fundamental level. There can be no separation.
Suddenly, I became aware of a theme within Seeing True that has long been emergent though not easily explained. That this moment and each of us in this moment is not only perfect for time, place and circumstance, but could not be otherwise. That wonder and beauty exist in that same moment. It is all wholly in our ability to see it and to experience it. That when Jesus suggested we pray for the kingdom of heaven, he did not mean for it to arrive, rather for us to realize it as ever present in this moment.
I know that’s a lot of what one of my teachers would call high falutin’ thinkin’. But if you’re still with me, I want to share another recent experience.
I was at an appointment with my acupuncturist. We agreed I was in a place that day where I needed to be jolted. He reached back into his practice archives and brought forth one particular approach with the needles that was likely to reawaken whatever it was within me that had been deadened. For the first half of the treatment I was face down and rested deeply. Then, he turned me over and repositioned the needles.
There was nothing but the moment at hand, no lack or fault to be found. My chest was filled to overflowing with feeling. Gentle tears, tears of deep humility, crept from the corners of my eyes. Wave after wave of feelings swept through me for the next ten or fifteen minutes. There was no thought to attach to the experience. It was only presence.
Afterward, I remembered that this was not a new experience. Though it had been some time since the last ecstatic moments, they are actually familiar to me. They are not abnormal or unusual, but a reminder that these expansive experiences are a connection to all that is.
With the experience comes a reawakening. Suddenly nothing, including me, can be the same.
“The kingdom of heaven is within you.” Jesus
“What is quite amazing is that this understanding is not theoretical, nor does it come through our thinking mind; it is a matter of our own direct, fully embodied, personal experience.” Reginald Ray
“Are you ready to stop running from yourself? Can you just be still?” Sonny B.