Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.
I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn't make any sense.
- (Sufi Poet Rumi)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Beautiful Booby

Brown Booby (photo by Aviceda)

Recently I spied a Brown Booby, a kind of marine bird so named because of its silly antics. We also call others and ourselves boobies, our inner chatter full up self-defeating scripts and obsessions. What a loss that we don’t see that we are as beautiful in our natural state as is the Booby, and that if we can see this, we can fly free as a bird.

I believe this freedom is for everyone. To rid ourselves of rigidity, any negative judgment of self or another requires painful and yet liberating inner surgery. This procedure requires that we feel the pain and regret of unmet needs, in ourselves primarily, and stay in that energy for a while without trying to fix the situation or ourselves. Ultimately in a transcendent fashion, there is nothing to fix. We are perfect just the way we are and in that liberation, we can actually transform ourselves in every moment with every breath, word, thought, and action.

One way to believe that you belong on this earth as part and parcel of its emerald beauty is to recall a situation or something you saw that brought unpremeditated joy, peace, or a smile to you. Perhaps it is a child laughing in a park, a bird soaring overhead, a sunrise or sunset, the stars at night, a song, or a conversation with someone. In that moment, honestly, are there any judgments of yourself or others? Our inner work is to train our minds and our hearts to see that every moment is full of beauty and of loss, and in that cutting edge of reality, we may clean up the edges of our wounds and bind up the broken. May it be so.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Street Credibility

This morning in the Gainesville Sun there is a story about an aspiring rapper who robbed a store in Gainesville to gain credibility as a rapper. As part of his plan, he shot a store clerk in the temple with a BB gun. I admit to a flash of dark humor about the “silliness” of our humanity and what our nature and culture brings us to do.
Yet there is also an internal flutter of discomfort and sorrow that says “this is not just this one man, or the rap culture, or street violence, this is in all of us.” To gain status, to gain acceptability, and to ease our fears we commit acts of violence or domination throughout our days, perhaps mostly in small ways.
If the spirit of the universe could look down on our spinning blue boat home form afar, she/he/it might also be struck with sweet sorrow about our kind. I also know that seen from afar, that the Spirit of Love’s heart would swell witnessing the countless acts of kindness committed on the street – someone waving someone else into a parking spot, another helping an elderly person across the intersection, and people offering words of comfort, solace, food to the homeless who call the streets and the woods their home.
Somewhere deep in us there is a place of choice, where we can act out the hope that we can offer life-giving acts throughout the day in the smallest of ways. In this fashion, we gain credibility with our own selves, and began to also see the beauty and power of us to live and breathe the beloved community in every moment.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Shining Your Mirror

Recently while in Guatemala I kept hearing how “bad” humans were and that we weren’t as good or pure as the birds and the forest. The people telling me this were folks working with front line conservation in very bad conditions in the north forest of Guatemala. They were using all their people skills, mental abilities, patience, and heart to treat one another with compassion and to help save the planet. I worked with them as avian veterinarian, and also as “conservation chaplain,” trying to help them by being the mirror that showed their human essence as being beyond wrong doing or right doing. Believe me, this took work, because I had also to keep doing my deep spiritual work of shining my own mirror so it could reflect love and beauty back to them. It isn’t easy to shine with acceptance in a world so full of pain, sorrow, and disappointment, however, I know no other path for we humans to come into our own possibility of belonging on this planet so that the days of all beings may be long, and belong.

Where in your life do you experience others or yourself as “wrong” or “right?”How do you shine your own mirror so that others see that they are being wrongdoing and rightdoing?