LOTUS OF THE HEART
Living in Love beyond Beliefs
We were together. I forget the rest.
Three Desert Fathers visited the eminent early Desert Father, Anthony, every year in the Egyptian desert. Two of them would discuss their ideas and their salvation with him. The third always stayed silent. Once, finally, the Abba asked him, "You often come here to see me, but you never ask me anything." To which came the reply, "It is enough to see you, Father."
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Seeing and being seen, that can be enough. I experience this in Chaplain work with patients nearing death, yet, also, in settings as mundane as a grocery store, a bookstore, a movie theater, even as I bicycle and wave at persons I meet on the road. In such settings, no one is a stranger to me, they are each a part of who I am, who we are together.
One of the vows I took many years ago is Sacrament of the Present Moment. This links to seeing and being seen, but more ~ yes, more, the more you are, always have been. Sacraments are ordinary objects, like wine and bread, being the veil of more ~ call it Grace, call it many things ~. Your face, for example, is an invitation to a faceless self, some call this soul. To me, your body is a Sacrament, a means to you, not merely a body; the body changes over time, the one who looks out the eyes of the body at those changes is changeless. You are the same you that you were when the body was conceived and took shape in a womb. Few consider this, sadly; this would be like, in some Christian communions, drinking wine, eating bread, totally missing the Christ. You are, this means, so much more than something that came from an egg and a sperm.
We are each so much more than what appears. We are not a mere appearance, therefore. That more you are, we each are, can be communed with, appreciated, even adored, but it escapes us, regardless the words we have created to refer to it.
In meditation classes I have had persons sit one with another, facing, and look into each other's eyes, or just above, neither person saying anything. This can be intense. We tend to use words to fill up the empty space, to shroud the mystery, which leaves us with a sense of not-being-in-control. But we need to be willing to enjoy dropping the words and feeling what it feels like to sense that that the other is, to embrace it with appreciation, allowing the sense-of to remain pristine, unworded. Also, what does the discomfort feel like? What are we fearful of, when we are not using words? Is there a deeper connection we can grow to enjoy with others? Yes, but before words, this communion is.
This does not mean lack of respect for the appearance of the other. No, worshipers at a temple would not disrespect the temple simply for it is not God, but would cherish it and take care of it for that it points them to God.
How do we move toward this in-seeing into the truth of the other? I know no way that bypasses some form of meditation practice; I do not exclude some persons may be born with this insight or grow into it in other means. My recommendation is a form of meditation that leads you to drop attachment to appearances, and to practice this daily. The path I chose was Centering Prayer, which led into Contemplative Prayer ~ which is really formless, nondual 'meditation'. One needs a way that leads to letting go of all appearance, and this literally rewires the brain to a new way of seeing ~ from outsight to insight, seeing surface to seeing depth.
Grace and Peace to All
Lotus of the Heart is an interspiritual offering of Brian Kenneth Wilcox, who lives in Florida USA. Feel free to submit a query to Lotus of the Heart...
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