Monday, May 18, 2009

Vitamins for the Soul: A rocky Place.....

So there's this amazing zen rock in the contemplative garden behind the building where i take all of my classes. It sits in the koi pond, half submerged and teeming with life within the soft succulent peat that grows there. I often imagine it when I am meditating, as I did yesterday because for me it represents a metaphor that unlocks the key to my own enlightenment. I've been having difficulty this semester determining a healthy balance between when it is appropriate to delve and probe the issues that have concerned me and when I just need to lighten up. I think that both have their merits and so I've striven to keep them in balance and even though I've been overwhelmed by the process from time to time, I have seen a tremendous amount of growth result because of it. Where this rock comes into play is I noticed that at the place where the rock converged with the water and the air seems to be the place where the most abundant forms of life reside, where life in that space is fullest and I spent a moment ruminating about how that correlated to my own life and consciousness. So I cultivated this metaphor.

The rocks below, the ones submerged in the depths had their own forms of life covered in algae, stagnant, complacent, and seemingly trapped. They had "fallen" or rested so deep that all they could do was stay buried in their environments, in their space within, in themselves. It's not a bad way to be, if you can make peace with that, but I wouldn't want to be like that all of the time. If I compared it to my consciousness I could almost compare those rocks to myself when I am lost in thought, trapped in contemplation, or lost in my own ego.

The rocks above I imagined lived wonderful lives. They were heralded in that garden as fixtures, of service to all of those fortunate enough to regard them to offer support, stability and a novel moment of peace and solitude. But for those who were unfortunate not to be regarded they would be at the mercy of the elements, drunken college students, and wandering pets and kids. The winds could carry pieces of them whereever it pleased and those rocks would come into contact of worlds and warmth and all sorts of brilliance that the rocks below could only dream of, they were the rocks which were most unstable, least anchored, and most likely to be carried away. They were destined to have a lesser life span but more likely to be remembered. They were glory rocks fated to meet their own end.

The rock in the center though, my rock upon which no one will ever sit, lays untouched, unscathed and instead of being stripped away by the winds is simply stirred by it. For the life that grows upon it and within it in those spaces where the depth and the warmth of the stirring present collide, represent the vast abundance that can fill us, me when we position ourselves in a harmonious balance between the sacred and steady depths and the whirling warmth and beauty of the mundane. Life unfolds at the point where those depths and external world converge, and the moment that I find that place, I find that I am filled with abundance and gratitude, that fills up my life and slows everything down enough for me to be able to appreciate it.

It is the place where freedom and service collide and love and happiness yield joy. Where we are steady, mindful and expressive all at the same time. This is the place where love and life and art are born, and if we take the time to notice these moments within our own lives, we find a fuller part of ourselves can be born by simply living..noticing and appreciating the sacred process and significance of the present.

Presently I am remembering how incredible my weekend was. I was hanging out with a friend of mine and we had quite the adventure. We were headed out to walmart to buy food to bake for our departing international friends but the freakish anime style sporadic thunderstorms kept trapping us in odd places and so we ended up on an oddysey and had the most amazing day of bead shopping, jewelry making, hw, and partying. how often do you get to live a full day with another person and truly enjoy it? we had an amazing time. the next day i woke up went to morning meditation and thought of this rock while i did my walking meditation. as i walked i tried to be mindful of my breathing and of my steps, this week's area of focus. It was amazing as we walked circles around the "Fireside Room" I was able to feel the warmth of the person's footsteps in front of me.

It was incredibly warm in those spaces and then my feet arced around the cold coiled carpet once more until it found another step of his and I felt a sense of comfort at being in the presence of such tremendous energy. It reminded me of why it is important to be mindful of my own steps, because even though people were not always going to be mindful of coming across my own energy, the impact of the steps that I take could just as easily be felt whether they were noticed or not, and that it was my responsibility to ensure that the impression that I was leaving were those warmth, of conscious responsibility and of growth. Those were the "footprints" I want to leave in the hearts of those who know me. Not of one who is negative or destructive; reckless. Which means I am going to have to start taking better care of myself.


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