Become like a Child

Yesterday I went for a bike ride to the seaside. It was a blue-sky day and the sun was giving off gorgeous heat. The wind was up and whenever I turned east I had to ride hard against it. I’m living near Dover, in the UK, and the coastline is made up of the famous White Cliffs, which jut out of the sea with magnificent sharpness, their top-edges carpeted with soft, green grass.

As you come inland the topography continues to undulate making for hilly roads. I was beginning to get hot riding up and down the steep streets and I noticed my mind had jumped ahead to my arrival at the beach, my ride home and the refreshments I would have when I got back. My trip to the sea was over before it had begun. Everything in front of me now, the cheek-by-jowl housing typical of English towns, the leaves flashing silver as they danced in the breeze, the puffs of white cloud drifting over Dover Castle in the distance, was invisible. I was missing it all.

The good news is this: I noticed.

I actually became aware that I wasn’t where I was. I realized I was not in reality and had bought in to the fantasy in my head and been seduced by it. With this awareness I could change.

Bringing myself back to the present I felt my body riding the bike. I remembered suddenly what it felt like to be a kid riding my bicycle on a hot summer day. Would I have been thinking about the future when I was seven years old? Maybe. More likely I would have been seeing the world around me, being with it as it happened.

I passed a sleeping white cat curled up on a concrete block. It looked so warm and so content I could actually feel its interior pleasure. If a cat is allowed to curl up and sleep away the afternoon why aren’t we, too?

I rode on, feeling the breath in my lungs and my heart working hard as pedaled. I sensed the wind kissing my face cooling the sweat on my forehead. I heard the rocks pop under the tires as I neared the the sea.

The beach was empty save for two young fisherman and a couple playing in the waves. I found my spot and parked the bike marveling at the way the sun was hitting the cliffs making them glimmer the brightest white imaginable. I lay down and curled up like a cat. Deep rest. Body settling into smooth stones heated warm from the late-summer day. Diamonds on the water. France at the other side. Whispers of prayer to give thanks.

Inspiring Message of the Day: When I realize that I have engaged with my thoughts so as to disappear from the reality before me I will remember what it feels like to be a child and experience the wonder of my existence as it unfolds.

Burning Desire

Dearest Readers,

Yesterday I was telling my Spiritual Director about the burn and recounting the story of how it happened and as I described to her the subsequent events that arose from the incident I remembered the absolute grounded Presence I felt on that day.

Talk about the Power of Now.

With first and second degree burns covering most of my thigh I was rocketed into the Present Moment where I remained for the rest of the day until I fell into sleep that evening.

The only other times in my life when I have felt that connected to Reality was when I was on hallucinogenic drugs back in my wild child days. And lemme tellya, the day of the burn was wild. (Right, SP?)

Believe me, I am not asking for more pain and suffering but there was something so profound about that experience, the awareness I felt, the sense of feeling utterly connected to the moment and totally fused to Life’s unfolding, that a part of me wishes I could return there.

The good news is I can. In fact, I’m already returned there. Because there is Here. This is the Teaching of the Burn. This is what Eckhart Tolle is talking about. It’s Now. It’s always Now.

So why is it so f’n challenging to live in the Now? What is so difficult about Be-ing? Shouldn’t it be the easiest thing in the world? After all, we are. Why can’t we just be?

Well, there’s that baggage we carry. It’s heavy. And there’s that damage we experienced. It’s hardcore. And there are those wounds we suffered. They’re deep. And don’t forget the wrongdoings we committed. They’re shameful. And then there’s the Intellect. Why this, why that? Figure it out, analyze it. Let me understand.

Sheesh. It’s a wonder we make it through the day sometimes!

The day after the burn was the day I flew out of New York to Montreal. I was leaving my good friend, who had been with me throughout the whole experience, and I wanted to extend my time with her for as long as I possibly could. I began to plan the day according my my wishes, going hither and thither, busy as a bee.

Well. “Make plans, God laughs.”

Before heading out, my friend and I did a little meditation session to start the day and thank goodness we did. Taking the time to get quiet and go within was the best thing I could have done for myself. This is what I heard: “Listen to the Burn.”

I changed my plans. My friend and I said good-bye and I went early to the airport where I could sit and rest and take care of my leg.

Listen to the Burn. In other words, live in the Power of Now. Connect to the Great Reality. Embrace the Experience of Being.

Start now. Or now. Or now. Or now. Or now. Or now…

Inspiring Message of the Day: When I forget that Life is Happening Now I will bring myself back Here. I will listen to the burning desire of my heart, which is always longing to Be with Great Presence.