Saying For Today: Bowing to softens the dark, hard places inside, and sensitizes our beings to the gift of others sharing this amazing community of life with us.
LOTUS OF THE HEART
Everyone is Welcome Here
Living in LOVE beyond Beliefs
When circumstances snatched my prior realities away from me, it was useless to try to get them back or substitute some contrivance in their stead. All I could do was bow to the situation. And when I did, I freed myself from my part in the drama, watching it unfold as if it had nothing to do with me.
*Lin Jensen. Together Under One Roof.
Earlier I had been writing a friend, a few hours before, about the feeling of lostness in transition. I was being-with the process, not personalizing, mostly. Yet, the words of Jensen intimated a further dimension, words of bowing to. I stood in the bookstore, this made sense, I read once and again and again. Sayings like "letting go" or "accepting" or "just give it to God" or "just trust" can sound cold, or trite. Other words can sound insensitive, like "God has a purpose" or "someday we will understand." That I am paying for past karma does not help much either, when someone I dearly love leaves, I am let go from from a job I relish, or my house burns to the ground.
When we feel life is out-of-control, or we are falling-apart, or just in a situation we feel uncomfortable with, possibly no explanation is needed, no theorizing, no theology, nothing said at all.
The bow to? Well, literally bowing or in spirit, that is something else; poetic beyond words. That is not just acceptance or letting go. Bowing to is respect, sometimes a profound sense of awe.
Could we bow to our confused selves? Could we bow to the sense of being lost? Could we bow to loneliness? Feeling unloved? Desperate? Anger? Hate? Jealousy? Malice? Could we do that? What difference might that make? Here, we are not hugging pain close or trying to push it away.
Yet, life is so much more than suffering, pain; life is as much pleasure, if we allow. How about bowing to the good feelings? The pleasing tastes, sounds, sights? The grace of being touched or touching? The smell of a delicious scent? Could we bow in awe to the sense of being loved? Feeling blessed? Feeling alive? Suddenly sensing we are surrounded by an immense mystery? A sudden moment of spontaneous generosity? The uprising of tears of happiness? Could we bow to all this? What difference might it make?
Could bowing to be an act of love, as much or more than any time-honored rite? Bowing to yourself? The one you have seen as enemy? The world? What difference might this make? What if we could do this bowing, rather than hugging accusation, spite, and continuing the parade of feeling a need to blame someone or some others?
* * *
I recall speaking to my congregation about respect for everyone, after the falling of the twin towers in 2001. While others where depicting a whole group within a religion the enemy, speaking as though every Muslim was evil, I urged respect for others, to compassionate, insightful equality. I chose to challenge the people to a grace beyond the prejudices that deny the courage to love in immense suffering. My words appeared to fall on stone ground; only one person affirmed the message to me. I was saying, "Why not bow to the human community?" Is our world better for not bowing in respect to the pain of such happenings, acting rather to focus on blame, even in the name of "God"?
* * *
No, bowing is not permissive, not denial, not a moral relativism. Bowing is an act of courageous affirmation, allowing compassion to arise both for others and ourselves, for this world, for every creature in pain and pleasure. So, why not bow to? This way of living will shift our world, even if a little. And, enough persons living this respect will make this world a kinder, more gentle, more inclusive place to live for everyone ~ yes, for everyone. Bowing to softens the dark, hard places inside, and sensitizes our beings to the gift of others sharing this amazing community of life with us. Bowing fosters appreciation for life, for others, for all sentient beings.
* * * CLOSING BLESSING * * *
Grace and Peace to All
The Sacred in Me bows to the Sacred in You
*Move your cursor over photos for photographer and title.
*Lotus of the Heart is a Work of Brian K. Wilcox. Brian is an interspiriutal Contemplative Chaplain, Writer, and Poet.