Ask yourself: What gives my life meaning? Whatever answer you give, it will boil down to some notion of belonging. Thus your own experience proves to you that only a sense of belonging makes human life meaningful. We need to remember this insight: Meaning springs from belonging.
*David Steindl-Rast. Deeper than Words: Living the Apostles' Creed.
First ‘I’ must be there. One can say it is the password into this mighty game of existence. Only after ‘I’ comes ‘you’ and ‘other’—world, friends, education, desire, religion, and so on.
*Mooji. Vaster Than Sky, Greater Than Space: What You Are Before You Became.
* * *
No amount of any psychological preparation, spiritual practice, or effort of any sort can make heart-with-heart connection, or communion, occur. While one may cultivate conditions for this to arise, this sharing is causeless, independent of any context. Communion arises, often leaving us with a sense of gift, never of got. Meeting heart-with-heart arises. I recommend to receive as gift, and refrain from seeking understanding. A gift cannot be understood, only received and responded to appropriately with gratitude.
* * *
Alone for over 3 hours, paddling the kayak upstream toward Highway 47 Bridge from Highway 441 Bridge, High Springs, FL. I am exhausted, aching with fatigue. I had been exhausted for most of the anticipated 4-hour route from launch outside my residence, the effect of having done the 20-mile cycling in the 95 degree heat and the weight lifting less than 24 hours prior. I needed more rest between, and now the body is letting me know.
Thankfully, with much rain and the Santa Fe overflowing presently, the current is stronger than usual. I am able to paddle and let the river carry the kayak for a short time. I begin doing this alternatively: paddling, resting.
Also, who made these hard rubber seats? Even with my cycling shorts on, which has padding, my rear is hurting like heck. Over and over, I am lifting myself off the seat, to get some butt respite. The relief is short-lived.
This is lovely out here, the quietness welcome too, but the misery is a constant companion. I take it a little at the time, working with the moments to stay in-the-moment, reminding myself this is my meditation practice. I recall a reading the day before, when a spiritual teacher, speaking of sitting meditation, taught basically, "Just keep at it, keep at it. Stay in the moment, until the next moment." So, that is what I am doing ~ at least, trying to do. Yet, I find it a challenge to stay in this-one-moment, as the moment I keep going to is a fictional one for not here. I keep projecting I am back to shore, at Bridge 47, waiting for pick-up.
The trip is about a 4-hour one, but I make it in about 3 hours 15 minutes. Then, out, then relief in this-one-moment, yet joy to have done what I did. The body feels blessed now to have been stressed; yet not again, not two intense days in a row. I am now almost 58 age, and feel younger usually, but not now.
Possibly, the most memorable sight of that lovely landscape along and on the Santa Fe is the two persons I met on the way. Lovely, for we had a meeting on the river, and meaning happened. One 'I' met together through three.
They, a couple, were headed to the same bridge, each in a like kayak. The two came up behind me, having been on the water for a much shorter time than I. I was glad to let them pass. They asked where I launched, I told them. We shared conversation some out on the water. They moved onward ahead and had just gotten out of their kayaks at the bridge, when I paddled up and disembarked also.
* * *
Someone reading this might say, "So what?" Yes, on the surface, "So what?" I agree. Meetings like this can happen anytime, and do in varied contexts. I am not writing merely of the surface of the river or the surface as what appeared to happen on that river, in that meeting, however. If one chooses to live on the surface of a river or life, not I and not 'I'.
* * *
To some persons, this meeting on the river would have been a chance encounter with some friendly words and goodbye ~ not I, possibly to the other two, I do not know. What an encounter is depends on where you are moving from in the movement of that meeting. And those meeting can be coming from totally different places and, thereby, having very different experiences within that apparent one meeting. And depending on where one meets from, person or heart, a brief sharing, even a smile when passing someone, can be timeless. Yet, in that moment, none of these thoughts are priority, only that connection is happening now. How long this happens, in the sense of time, is not of importance to this one moment. Eternity is always, only now, and needs no elongation for justification or meaning. Each moment is complete, replete; nothing can be added to it. So, we can relax with it, trustingly.
* * *
Let us think on this for a time, together. Do you not recall encounters in which you sensed a spontaneous connection immediately? You had no history together to prepare for this. Possibly, you were surprised, especially as most of our psychological training does not address this possibility. Most relationship-speak posits such connection as prepared for through, say psychological integration, if at all, when you knew what happened was uncultivated, immediate, spontaneous. Some causes and conditions came together in this moment of fruition, like planting a seed and suddenly the plant is grown and full of fruit. This could not be traced back to a series of known causes and conditions. Still, the communion itself is causeless, for timeless, while causes and conditions set a context that, so to speak, welcomes it.
Possibly, this heart-with-heart left quickly, the sense of connection disappearing to nothingness, as it came from nothingness. But you could not put a name to this nothingness, or you came up with something to call it from memory: Love, God, Grace, Plenitude, the Universe, Emptiness, Brahman, Godhead, Creator, Christ Consciousness, Awareness, ... You knew, did you not, that the something or nothingness from which it arose was not you, at least as a personality? And, if not from you, how could you have retained it? How could you as you get it back? And, if not from you, whom or what?
So, we know what this is like, hopefully. Sadly, some persons may never have had this kind of connection. Or, possibly, some have not had one like described above, but a connection of heart-with-heart after a time nurturing the relationship. Regardless, connection is connection. Before proceeding, I remind you I am not writing of simply an emotionally intimate relationship, however a blessing. I am not speaking of a connection person-to-person at all. I am not belittling the value in such relationships, they are not what I am writing of, however.
* * *
The more this intimacy is awakened within our own heart, the connection within, the more connections with others, even persons we have no prior knowledge of, can occur. Why? For as life is moving more from the intimacy we are, then that intimacy, that sensitivity, that knowing, connects with the 'I' of the other. Again, the other may not be connecting with us at a like depth. He or she may, for example, be joining with us from person, or personality, while we are meeting him or her from heart.
* * *
So, one of three things might happen in meeting. First, 'I' communes with 'I'; heart-with-heart reciprocation. Second, 'I' connects with the 'I' in the other, without like reciprocation. Third, two personalities interact, 'I' remaining hidden in the background. In the first, mutual communion. In the second, communion within one consciously known. In the third, no giving-or-receiving communion by either.
* * *
Mooji, above, pointed to the 'I' that appears before all else, the 'I' not dependent on any manifestation of sharing. That 'I' being present allows the potential for the incarnation of that 'I' in communion among embodied Beings. So, on the Santa Fe, to connect heart-with-heart with two apparent strangers, 'I' had to be there consciously. This is a reason the Christian Scripture reads, in a like vein to many Scriptures in the East, "Wake up! you who are sleeping [this can refer to death, seeing 'sleep' was used of death] and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."
* * *
The need we have as selves of this Self, is the drawing of the separate-self-consciousness back into the Self, the unitive-I, so depth can occur in our relationships with others, human and otherwise. 'I' needs no time for connection, for communion, for 'I' is timeless in time, while time is not in 'I'. If, therefore, you just met someone or have known them many years, that does not factor in to the potential of communion. No one can locate when connection would begin or would end, for this is not a feeling or thought, not arising from body-and-mind. Indeed, someone living from the heart is walking in connection all the time, even sleeping in connection. Connection has become his or her natural atmosphere. This is as natural to him or her as living in dis-connection is for others. Yes, that one could be alone on an island and not suffer disconnection, even if there arose a sense of desire for the connection to materialize in a physical meeting, or incarnation. The desire can arise, for heart seeks heart for communion-between-bodies (embodied communion, incarnation), be it the body of a human, an animal, an insect, a plant, ... Connection reaches out, we could say, for connection. Yet, this reaching out is not out of lack, but out of fullness, completeness seeking to share with completeness. Totality seeks Totality.
* * *
Steindal-Rast reminds us, then, "Meaning springs from belonging." Meaning is not a something, meaning is a something-happening. Part of the beauty of the meeting on the Santa Fe was something-was-happening. Meeting, as we use it here, is not a meeting, but meet-ing. All is verbal in Loving. So, meaning arises in the moment of meeting. Belonging, then, can allude to that moment of meeting or the communion going-on in the background.
By "communion going-on" I mean that connection that transcends a place of meeting. One may live in connection always or much of the time with someone, even when he or she is not present. This is a living communion, for it is happening and persons do not have to be together in proximity. This is both boundless and timeless. These relationships are rare, it appears, and familial relationship, or other natural ties, may actually be a hindrance, as the encultured myth of what these relationships ought to be are likely to hinder the freedom essential for this ongoing heart-with-heart movement.
* * *
After my mother left the body, I was informed ~ as I have written before ~, after a time of sensing her presence and connecting, inwardly to release that, for she needed to move on her journey and had work to do. Since many years now, I have honored that. I have even, recently, let go of identifying her as my mother, that being a temporal relationship in this body for a time. Possibly, the connection will return in another form, in another aspect of Reality. I choose not to speculate on such, as what I ~ and you ~ are given is only this moment and the relationships to engage, cherish, and enjoy now.
* * *
When you are 'I' present, connection will arise naturally, spontaneously. Do not put forth effort for this to happen. You will not see others from the perspective of only person, or ego. You will see heart-with-heart, even when others cannot reciprocate. You will enjoy the adventure of discovering meaning, over and over, not as something you can find, but something that arises in the communion-happening. You, hopefully, will learn to live in this communion with all life, not with just humans, not with just the seen. You will not understand this, and possibly you will wisely choose to speak none or little of it. Persons living as a person only will never begin to fathom the joy of the arisings of communion and meaning. Possibly, with one or more, you will be blessed to share a heart-with-heart continuously. However, I would urge, when someone leaves the body, appropriately grieve, if you must and based on your need, but do not seek to retain a connection with him or her ~ even if this sensed-connection remains for a time, as persons oft report, do not cling to it or intend it to stay. Love that other, human or otherwise, enough to honor that he or she has been gifted to move on, even as you will one day move on out of the material body. Enough to meet and connect here, heart-with-heart, knowing what is so-called after-death will become clear. Thank you.
*The vision statement for Lotus of the Heart is Living in Love beyond Beliefs.
*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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
*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