“Why I Wake Early” by Mary Oliver comes to mind this morning. Not so much the lines from the poem, simply the title itself sparks my awareness. I have several “tripwires” that begin my day. Interesting choices, the metaphors of “spark” and “tripwires”, leaky memories of past excitement and the possibility of unexpected explosions. Ignition of my day with awakening, at whatever level it happens. Passing sadness drifts and recedes as I think of so many days that I launched out of bed with an agenda of activities otherwise framed as employment, a job, a career. A wistful sense, maybe not so sad really, as I compare my current morning rituals with those times. What would it be like now, if I had been able to do this, back then?
Today I wake, ablute, make my way to the cushion, set timer, settle into the continuing pattern of allowing contact with freedom of mind. The bell sounds, I bow (mostly to stretch and relieve stiffness), noticing the already engaged sequence and moving seamlessly (seemlessly) into the next action/thought. Stimulation from checking the contents of the inbox: AWAD, Visual Thesaurus, Zen Calendar, Pariyatti, Tricycle, Om, Writers Almanac (fyi, these are simply stimuli, acquired over the years); hardly takes more than five or ten minutes and oh, what wonderful openings are revealed. As I list these touchstones, I see a thread that may lead you to unintended conclusions about who I am. Please hold this lightly, see the tendency to conclude and release this to be open to possibility.
Who am I? An ongoing conundrum emerging from these repetitive actions, firing and wiring networks in gentle yet scintillating discoveries. Maybe “Who do I want to be?” is more useful. Am I a work in progress? Not as obviously as I am aware. There! A point easily identified as a place to return to “begin again”. Not knowing…and wanting to know…Am I awake? How to be awake, and present, and continue to aspire to be free from wanting and move with ease, attending to each moment, thought, and sensation?
Yesterday Albert Einstein said, “The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”
And today, Taisen Deshimaru says, “From your first day of school you are cut off from life to make theories.”
AWAD gives me “redound”, Visual Thesaurus: “dubious”, Pariyatti: “assāsa” – breathing freely; ease, relief, comfort, encouragement, self-confidence, Tricycle: “Washing…Body”.
This is how I aspire (elevating the wanting), weaving a few threads of mind with the actions of living moment to moment.
This ongoing challenge centers undeniably on self, everyone’s favorite subject. I can’t not face it. Double negatives can be very useful, in spite of “rules”. This is who I tend to be: contrary to whatever perception arises. Sometimes petulant in my resistance. Embracing denial consciously to see the other and the other side, wholeness through seeing what is, and what isn’t, an active practice. And sometimes not so much so. This writing describes my daily practice. Writing this moves me toward acting consistently with it. Perhaps it seems complicated and arduous to one that sees it this first time. It evolved and continues to evolve daily. It points me toward something that intuitively enriches “rightness”, balance, peace. The metaphors above have been transformed now for me. They will surface again and be another invitation to practice. I forget. I remember. Re – member, to become a member again. “This being human is a guest house… Thanks, Rumi!