In the chapter about Hakim Sanai in 'Meetings With Remarkable People', Osho describes the path of the meditator as a kind of desert - it has its own beauty; immense silence, infinity, coolness, it is full of solitude, no distractions.
But it lacks richness and variety.
The path of love is like a garden - it has variety, flowers, colours, beauty, life, fullness.
The inner being of a meditator becomes like a desert, the inner being of a lover becomes like a garden.
Two different paths.
It’s interesting to ponder to which path we are drawn, how we most naturally express our spirituality, how we relate to the world…
For a long time I think I was a meditator, now I seem to be a lover...
Yet I do swing between relatedness (the lover?) and solitude (the meditator?).
My interactions with others are deeply authentic and real (the lover?), yet I prefer to be out in the bush alone, or home immersed in exploring my inner universe (the meditator).
This is silly. Why try to define which path I tread – they all lead inwards, to the heart.
They are not separate.
Why do I keep falling into forgetfulness?
Why do I see anything as separate to the whole?
'To be enlightened is to be intimate with all things.'
That is all that matters.
There’s no need to define which path one treads, or what makes us different, or unique.
Its more important to realise (and feel) what joins us as one.
Recent events have cracked my heart open, and the essence oozing out is mixing intimately with the essence of all things.
During the week I read bits and pieces from a library book called ‘Alchemy of the Heart’ by Michael Brown.
The language is a bit new-agey (instead of the word realise, he always writes real eyes – which is so annoying that I’ve changed it in my translation below) but some of his insights rang true with what I am experiencing, helping make sense of these intense feelings that make me “intimate with all things”.
(I instantly hook into other people's thoughts that validate my own experience)
Here's an excerpt:
“The quest for enlightenment leads us to believe there is a state of being outside the one we are experiencing right now that can in some way liberate us from the discomfort of our current experience. It leads us to believe there is a destination, a point of arrival, that once attained is the answer to all our unhappiness.
Enlightenment, just like many 'spiritual paths' is the wolf called 'the pursuit of happiness' wearing sheep's clothing.
Through embracing the fullness of our moment-to-moment feelings, whether they are familiar to us or not, we awaken to the realisation that the heart is the means and the portal through which we commune authentically with our vibrational essence.
By consciously interacting with our life experience through felt-perception, we are able to peer more deeply into the timeless face of what life truly is, and so into our own authentic identity.
This is when we realise that it is not some state outside our current experience that we have been seeking. Our authentic quest is to BECOME INCREASINGY INTIMATE WITH THIS EXPERIENCE - the one we are already in.
This is when we realise it is INTIMACY that we seek, not enlightenment.
(the capitals are mine)
To appreciate the magnificence of our experience, in this moment, no matter what expression life's face show us, is to be enlightened.
In this experience, when we encounter any emotional, mental or physical turbulence along the winding pathways of our eternal journey we do not react outwardly - we respond inwardly.
Our response is to allow what is happening, feel it as deeply as possible, and embrace these feelings as a wink in the vocabulary of God that is as yet unspeakable to us.
We do not have to adopt any strange practices, call ourselves by a spiritual name, or enter any behaviour that demands inauthentic attention. Our spirituality is not in anything or activity we do. It is in consciously engaging the invisible felt-resonance running through the entirely of our being.
Our spirituality is in our conscious and consistent response to our heart."
After work tonight I plan to do some yoga, have dinner, then learn how to play Ring of Fire on the guitar (wth a bit of improvisation on the simple chords). I've been listening to Ed Kuepper's rendition, melancholy and raw compared to the original upbeat Johnnie Cash song:
Love is a burning thing
and it makes a fiery ring
bound by wild desire
I fell in to a ring of fire...
I fell in to a burning ring of fire
I went down, down, down
and the flames went higher.
And it burns, burns, burns
the ring of fire
the ring of fire.
The taste of love is sweet
when hearts like ours meet
I fell for you like a child
oh, but the fire went wild…
I fell in to a burning ring of fire.....[etc]
Written by June Carter and Merle Kilgore
Recorded by Johnny Cash on 3/25/63
Number one - County Chart; Number 17 - Pop Chart
Love...and fire...and wildness..
A smouldering heart.