'I'm Still Here'
The work of sitting quietly doing nothing, waiting for our deepest experience to show up, is one of the most truly creative actions we can take. It is hidden treasure, covered by the egoís delusions and simultaneously transparent.
*Katherine Thanas. The Truth of This Life: Zen Teachings on Loving the World as It Is.
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The most intimate we can be is beyond what we usually mean by conscious. This is not merely unconscious, as in the subconscious. There is a vast landscape hidden. In the heart, it shows itself. You come to see you are not separate from it; instead, you are this hiddenness displaying itself through Nature. Yet, even in manifestation, the hidden retains its secrecy. In the heart, the hidden communes with itself in self-knowing, so self-loving. God is with God.
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Thanas quotes from the poet Jane Hirshfield's Ten Windows -
One of [the] more subtle homes is the Ryoan-ji rock garden in Kyoto: wherever in it a person stands, one of the fifteen rocks cannot be seen. The gardenís positioned stones remind us there is always something unknowable and invisible beyond what can be perceived or comprehended, yet as real as any other rock amid the raked gravel.
The self lives in a temple with walls, a ceiling, and a floor. Nothing wrong with that. Yet, the heart lives in a Temple without walls, a ceiling, and a floor. Everything in the seen is a shadow of the hidden. Nature is a composite of veils. The hidden Temple, the Sanctum of the Heart, being without walls, a ceiling, and a floor - being boundless - includes the seen and unseen equally. The Way leads us to a reorientation - when before, the seen was our conscious experience, the hidden becomes our conscious experience. Yet, the hidden remains hidden, for conscious includes now that outside the knowing of mind and the sensing of the body.
Central to contemplative spirituality is intimacy with all that remains the hidden. How can one be intimate with the hidden? With ego - our sense of self -, we experience everything through its limited lens, so shutting out much of the seen and hidden. With the heart, we experience everything through its boundless receptivity - that is, its openness.
In spirit, we live in a Temple without any boundaries. There are no walls, no ceiling, no floor, nothing: everything, seen and unseen, is the Temple, including ourselves. Our very seeking Spirit is Spirit appearing.
Herein is the role of silence in the Silence. While we may try to generate activity in our contemplative quiet to know something is happening, this itself moves away from intimacy. The veiled will come out when it chooses. We know it through inner communion, quietly not-doing. We may feel subtle signs in the body to indicate this intimacy, yet the hidden is the hidden.
Even in a spiritual connection with a person, this hiddenness is true. The more one grows into the Silence, the more she does not relate with others as persons. The hidden within herself communes with the hidden within the other. So, the self has to be re-educated to a new landscape of relating.
This knowing is a more intimate knowing. This intimacy is more conscious. The ego cannot know this. The heart knows it already. So, welcome the knowing that is already; see in your seeking closeness how there has always been a secret ground from which the seeking has arisen. So, return Home. The more you return Home, the more you will be Home, until you never return again.
Be silent. Watch how God opens the door.
Why are you lost in the thought
that closes the door?
*The Forbidden Rumi: The Suppressed Poems of Rumi on Love, Heresy, and Intoxication. Trans. and Commentary Nevit O. Ergin, Will Johnson.
Peace to All!
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*(C) Brian K. Wilcox, 2020
*Brian's book, An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love, can be ordered through major online booksellers or the publisher AuthorHouse. The book is a collection of poems based on mystical traditions, especially Christian and Sufi, with extensive notes on the teachings and imagery in the poetry.