© 2009 Howard McQueen (Version 1 22-Oct, 2008)
I sit back, deep into the seat of my soul. I sit here because I know thru wisdom, the sheer futility of running away. There is no longer an option to run away or hide.
The Here & Now are my home. My task--to remain awake and aware and, when (not if) I stray, to return to this seat and humbly continue this life’s work: uncovering and cleaning the heart of the dust-from-neglect, now caked into mud, from the tears wept returning home.
Home is where I am completely vulnerable. And yet, paradoxically, in this energetic space of here and now, I am peace, I am sustained.
I grow roots, sending these deeply into my heart. I then nourish this me-as-tree-of-life, letting the spirit of my heart expand outwards, growing leaves, blossoming. This inward-radiating-outward love, expression of myself-as-part-of-the-wholeness-of-life, provides a centering to accept and not resist the external world’s impermanence and ongoing disruptive sensations.
The ever-changing theatre of the external world is just that: constant beauty mixed with ever-shifting drama. The compassion of strangers interspersed with the eruptive mental illness of humans trapped in their heads. Having had encounters with contagious mental illness, my response is an ever growing depth-of-compassion for those caught in pursuing the myriad strategies of the mind: acquire-before-they-expire, hide-before-they-can-be-hurt, imagine-shame-while-anticipating-blame, etc. This is the run-a-muck locomotive mind, not feeling emotions, the heart hijacked from its conductor’s seat.
The external world is like the wind, ever shaping and scouring our surfaces. As the tree, I tap deeply into the earth like the great sequoias. I am openness, allowing the wind to play and have its way with my branches and leaves. I remember to bend when the winds are strong and erratic. The winds calm, the birds and butterflies return, and lightness of being with all creatures of nature is again restored. These states evoke a full spectrum of sensations and I let them all in, remembering to let them pass thru on their own way home. I remember (over and over again and again) to not construct elaborate expectations—just more fleeting castles-of-sand.
Since I am spirit that bore tree, I am learning to celebrate fire as inevitable and elemental. Fire offers up destruction, creating the space for transformation of life. This body, like all vessels born into the external, is on loan, gifted, also returning home. I celebrate this gift, with all the uncertainties and lack of external warranties. To just exist and be connected to unconditional love, even momentarily, even while shouldering this struggle to be human, is wondrous, breath-taking, such a privilege to become … aware.
Thus I serve that which runs through my heart. It is the current sustaining and interconnecting all life, it enables my reflection, it contains light and dark, it is everything--and I am Home.
Two authors motivated me to write this piece. Mark Nepo is an awesome spiritual writer and flat out fantastic teller of stories. Michael A. Singer's first book "The Untethered Soul" is also inspirational. - HM