Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > Spiritual Discernment and Life as Process


Ripening ~ Way of Life

Jul 16, 2018


Living in LOVE beyond Beliefs

Dark Ripeness

A word resonating in this time of transition, after leaving a job and becoming unemployed about 5 months ago, is ripe. The Online Etymology Dictionary tells me "ripe" is from the Old English ripe, meaning "ready for reaping, fit for eating, mature." And its meaning "ready for some action or effect" is from the 1590s.

Life, with its many decisions, is a process, a happening, of ripening. Having been raised on a farm, we lived with the ever-present reality of ripeness. We witnessed how animals gave birth to little ones, as chickens did eggs, when all was ripe to do so. Also, we had vegetable gardens and fields of corn, these were ripe each in its own time. I worked many years in my childhood and youth in the tobacco fields, and learned how the leaves of a stalk indicated ripeness. The ripening began from the lower leaves and, over many weeks, proceeded upward. I learned how to crop leaves based on color, as coloration indicated ripeness. After cropping 3 or more leaves one week, the following week, another 3 or more would be ready to reap. The field was fully harvested when no leaves remained, only bare stalks.

* * *

I was offered to live at a retreat site and, if I wished, offer some offerings in spirituality: workshops, retreats, ... basically, what I would decide and the retreat owners-directors would agree to. This offer to me was a dream come true, I felt. After writing up some ideas, just nascent, nothing seemed to feel right ~ ripe; I did not feel right, and possibly was not ripe for the offer. No flow, no readiness felt for yes. I have learned when being in flow, that is a good sign, when no flow, be attentive, something is not on, not ripe.

So, after being almost certain I would accept, I sought counsel, and declined. The decline arose from practical matters, mostly not feeling peace to say yes. I thought the matter was concluded. After, however, getting a reply many days later from my note of decline, deep hurt arose. I wondered had I made a mistake declining. Then began the inner conflict over the matter. Yet, I refused to act out of any sense of compulsion. I did not know even if the offer was still present. I engaged simply being aware of this conflict, with no need to push toward any clarity, accepting even clarity might never arise. This reminded me of discernment being like placing a dish for mealtime in the oven and letting the process take care of itself. The oven is designed to cook the food, we wisely allow that to happen on its own terms. We do not say to the oven, "This is how you are to do this." Neither is one wise to tell life how life is to do what life does naturally.

life is a happening, is happening
not something separate
a flowing
ripeness is preparedness
to be-with, receive, share

* * *

This calm conflict within continued, then one day, suddenly, I sensed a peace about the offer to move to the site. The peace was strong, like moving over my relaxed body, lying in wakeful Silence, inside and outside. I began feeling joy. I recalled a like peacefulness that arose, when in indecision about going into Ph.D. studies or not some 20 years prior. I really ~ I mean really ~ did not want to, yet I opened for inner guidance following the encouragement of a wise older friend. And peace arose and acceptance. What I feared, became an attraction. No naturally evolved into yes. I was enthused. The fear of the daunting journey was gone. From that yes, out of no, began the years of additional studies and one of the more fulfilling pilgrimages of my life. Getting the Ph.D., with that sense of great accomplishment and feeling the joy of my family being proud of the youngest in the family, arose with that arising of inner summons, a peacefulness as I rested on the couch at my family home. And that Ph.D. likely would not have happened if not for one wise man, seeing the potential in me, encouraging me to be open to see and say either a yes or a no, rather than simply saying no.

yes and no
not-two, not-one
yes arises from no
no from yes
sitting with yes
one sees no
sitting with no
one sees yes
each a transformation
of the other
choiceless presence, being present
for seeing to arise
patient, wakeful
to yes and no
to yes or no
as the way life shows itself
in its own time
no push no pull
and, too,
you see
when you're prepared to see, not before
you're prepared
when you're prepared, not prior
for you, too, are life
not separate from life
yes and no and

* * *

No, I have not decided, at the time of this writing, what to do about the offer at the retreat. The time to act is not yet. What is happening is realization of the changes inwardly going on with me that indicate being where I am presently, short-term or long-term, is the space providing preparation for the next shift in the outward journey, in whatever direction. I have, thankfully, lived long enough now, and hopefully matured enough, to sense desperation to push life in any direction or try to get life on my timetable is futile and suffering. One day, today or tomorrow or another day, I may write a note, "Is the offer still on the table?" I may end up going where I had decided not to go, or that may not happen. Life must be okay for us to be okay with ourselves, and we will never be able to be in harmony with an ideal life, only with life. Peace is in our relationship with life, that relationship entails a moment-to-moment surrender. And what to do in the waiting for the ripe time to move in one direction or another? Always life is happening, as much in the waiting as anywhere. So, for now, I choose being-with life here and now, and say to it, "Thank You!" Even say to life, "Finally, gratefully, I love you, just as you are."

New Life Erupts

*All material, unless another source is cited, is authored by the presenter of Lotus of Heart, Brian Kenneth Wilcox, Florida USA. Use of the material is permitted; Brian only requests that credit be given and to be notified at 77ahavah77@gmail.com .

*Brian's book, An Ache for Union, is available through major booksellers.

*Move cursor over pictures for photographer and title.

The Sacred in Me bows
to the Sacred in You


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