Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Enlightenment & The Garden of Eden - thoughts from insomnia

I was sitting under my mind tree, a large baobab, cross oak reminiscent of the Faraway Tree of my youth (yes, it does have a slippery slip). This is the place I go to in my head when I need to reconnect, think and listen (meditate if you will). Some days it is busy, full of people visiting, playing and chatting. Some days it is quiet, just me, the tail of the resident leopard, the sound of the birds and the distraction of the squirrels going about their business.

As I sat under the tree I could feel the sand grains, warm and tickly under my feet and between my toes- the sun’s warmth played across my skin accompanied by the ever present breeze wafting lazily by.
As sometimes happens a lady approached and sat beside me (and I do mean, lady, elegant and serene). As also often happens with unexpected visitors I found my thoughts wandering in a totally different direction, I found myself thinking of how hard it is to accept abundance as my right rather than a reward ? There are so many authors, gurus if you will that continually remind us that our thoughts create our reality, that this is a safe world, full of abundance, yet we live with scarcity and fear. How did man get soo far off the path of what is supposed to be ?
What ? The Garden of Eden ? What has this got to do with enlightenment ?
And then it came to me, the garden of Eden was a place where abundance was everywhere. Here all the concepts I hear and read about are real, abundance is your right, not a luxury reserved for a few.
“Is that what enlightenment is ? Us returning to the Garden of Eden ? “, I asked, but she just smiled, encouragingly I thought.

“So what was the lesson for Adam and Eve ? What was the mistake ? Why even tempt them in the first place ? And why has it taken so much time for us and so few of us to find our way back ?“


Now faith is not a word I am comfortable with - a hectic Catholic family will do that to you. It is not a word I even really understand, unless…. unless faith is what happens when you trust (let go of being in control) and accept (stop fighting).

Is that what Eve did not do ? She questioned, stopped listening to her inner voice and rebelled ? I was at the edge of understanding… struggling to grab hold of the answer.

Images flitted back and forth. I was standing at the edge of a river, rushing gently, struggling to stay by the shore. Eve, standing by the tree, listening to another voice, questioning if this was what she deserved or was there more ?

“Let go Earth Angel, let go and have faith. Go with the flow, trust the river of life will take you where you want, dive in and experience its abundance”

Could it really be that simple ? Then again, trusting, letting go, accepting, stopping fighting, remembering to listen to my soul rather than the messages around me… none of that is easy, but perhaps it is not quite so difficult.

She was gone when I looked back, my elegant lady in white. But the memory of her and the Garden of Eden remains strong. Today, just today, I will practice the word faith. And then tomorrow…and the day after until it is no longer a struggle, until it flows, like the river of life.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What If We Did Not Have All The Facts ?

Back in the day (way back, when the world was still dark and scary) I read an interesting statement. That people if given two equally valid intepretations of the facts to hand, most of the time, most of the people will choose the story that was worse. Interesting yes ? Which begs the question, how true are the intepretations or stories we tell ourselves ? Do we even have all the facts ? What if it were impossible to see the whole truth ?

I am reminded of one of my favourite buddhist stories (this is my version of it :) ). There was a poor farmer who laboured all day in the fields. He and his wife finally had a son who grew up and helped his Dad in the fields and so the family was a little richer. Everyone said what a good thing that was. Then the son had an accident and lost his leg. Everyone said what a bad and sad thing that was. A few months later a war broke out and all the sons in the village were sent off to fight, few returning.... except for the son who had lost is leg..... so was him losing his leg good or bad ?

As always, this has come up for me based on my last two weeks, one funeral and one really sick boyfriend and a whole lot of emotions, stress and strain. I found myself creating one singular intepretation of what I was was hard not to because how can loss not be bad ? But what if the situation I was witnessing and experiencing, what if they were the lesser of two evils..... crap though they both were ?
And what if I look back at the 'horrid' events of my life, the one's were I barely knew how to get from hour to hour never mind day to day.... what if they were too filled with God's Grace and what happened was the lesser of two evils ?
I am not sure I can rescript my entire life to work this 'what if' into it.
Indeed, these last two weeks have seen me doing something I hardly ever refuge. It is a Budhist thing that I have found gives me space to seek refuge in Budha (or Jesus, any deity that works for you really) and in doing so you hand all the worry and stress and doubt over. You stop trying to work out what will happen and what you should be doing, what is best. You just let go and TRUST that it will work out for the best...and all you have to do is be the best you can be in that moment...not worrying about the next, just the one you are living now.
So I have a new what if, What if I do not have all the facts ? What if I am not supposed to ? What if the secret to peace and calm and a life without suffering is to not question or label things good or bad...but rather to hand it all over and focus on who I want to be in that moment ? What if it really were that simple ?