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There is always much more for Life to show us of Itself, of Its wonders. There is grandeur everywhere. The invitation of Grace is an invitation to adventure. The adventure may not be seen by others to be spectacular, yet it is our adventure. And, often, majesty is most wonderful when most subtle. We are, indeed, offered an inundation of ultimately disappointing substitutes for the eloquence of Life, distractions from the glory of being here, alive, with others, with Earth. Just to breathe an in-breath and an out-breath, what a marvel! We can say "Yes" right where we are to this adventure, the one fulfilling, ever-unfolding. Life is here, beauty present in the world where we are at any one time. A turn toward the Light is a return to the brilliance of this human life, both fully divine and wholly human, both thoroughly ordinary and absolutely mysterious. The majesty is not elsewhere, at some other place, but here, and you are here. And that is a miracle, is it not?
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All said today is not to set in opposition a resistance and a welcoming of the pilgrimage into the marvelousness of Life. Jean Klein said, in I Am, “The root of all desires is the one desire: to come home, to be at peace.” We already have the desire for home, this home glorious and mysterious. Life is home. Home, this journey of Wholeness, is not welcomed by effortfulness to overcome resistance, a resistance that arises from fear; indeed, resistance can protect us, until we are truly prepared to say "Yes."
Also, you cannot try to be welcoming and, hence, become welcoming. If someone were to arrive at your door, someone you did not want to welcome, someone you wanted much to avoid, you could not force yourself to be welcoming to him or her. Welcoming, the "Yes" I have spoken of, it arrives from a will for it to show itself, not by exertion to make it show itself. Welcoming begins with relaxing, allowing the release of any tension between "Yes" and "No." And in this the "Yes" arises, whether we feel or not the "Yes" as "Yes" immediately; the "Yes" is present before we feel the "Yes." This, for in itself, the "Yes" is not a feeling.
In this "Yes" arising from the heart, even as in my stepping outside the yard, walking beside my mother, an opening occurs. In ease our "Yes" invites and, so, meets the "Yes" of Life. Then, something fresh, something never-before, can happen. We can feel, can see anew. In the words of Chogyam Trungpa, we are tuned in. We are not merely existing, going through our daily routine mindless and heartless, like automatons, we are awake to the Beauty, to Love. We may do what we did before, yet we experience the environment in which we do it differently. We experience the other and ourselves differently than before.
And, then, like my mother companioning me, we can companion others into the enjoyment of the miracle Life is, the adventure the heart has been longing for and is saying "Yes" to. We can celebrate the "Yes" with the other. And in this being home, there is peace, we can relax and say "Thank You" for the gift of this wonderful Life, my life, your life, our life.
Awakening spiritually is natural, it is awakening not to something new, but to what has always been with us, all around us, Life and the generosity of that Life. Life is open-handed. Magic is everywhere, and we are part of it, we are it, for one with it. Not only do we love the Light, but we are within the Light and becoming the Light. More, we are the Light becoming the Light, as says the Philokalia, that masterpiece of Eastern Christianity, "A soul pure in God is God." So, in the "Yes," of God becoming in God, the felt-separation becomes joyful, quiet union, even as the wind is for the air is, and they move together, as one. You become the Life you once sought.
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To end today on a practical matter of how. Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us that silence is vital in embracing the majesty of Life, greeting our lives. For how can I be intimate with Life, if not with my life? So, silence can be a spaciousness in which we relax, we offer ourselves to Life, and we welcome Life to cultivate within us the "Yes." This may mean feeling deeply the strain between "Yes" and "No," before the "Yes" arising from inner Grace. Yet, we can, in silence, learn to relax with that tension and offer it to Grace. Then, we can allow this tautness to be softened in the silence, by the Silence. The tension is itself not negated but transformed in this quiet, trustful waiting. Here, there is no effortfulness, only delightful surrender, the prayer, "Do within me what I cannot do." Waiting is not, in this, another thing we are making ourselves do, it arises naturally, and we can repose in the arms of the Beloved. When we feel ourselves tensing up again, we relax. Then, we return to peace, to love life during the waiting. How wonderful! How blissful!
(C) Brian Wilcox, 2020
*Quote from the Philokalia... E. Kadloubovsky, and Palmer G. E. H., Trans. Early Fathers from the Philokalia.