In the book God in All Worlds, Lucinda Vardey writes “I believe we begin our search for meaning with doubt, pain, and a lot of questions” (3). In Buddhism, many of the teachings are about how to move beyond suffering. The people I grew up with turn to the Christian God when they are in pain, scared, confused.
For myself, the least authentic approach to Spirit is the path of pain and suffering. Prayer becomes a plea bargain and desperation triggers a cynical witness that knows my motives are selfish. I distrust any experience I have that is encountered as a salve, as an opiate. Rather it is overwhelming beauty that brings me to Spirit. That melts away resistance, like a fog rolling in across a parched landscape. And beauty itself is a problematic word…
Vardey organizes the sections of her book “to follow the spiritual journey of the soul in this life” (xvi): The Quest, Revelation, Trials, Surrender, Death and the Eternal Life, Awe. For me, Awe is the beginning and the end of a cyclical journey. It is not an a to z path but rather a spiral. A double spiral, looping out of itself, across to another and then back again. And Awe sits at the center and at every turn. Without it, I have no entry point to something larger than myself.
At its most basic description, my spirituality is the awareness that the soul is not in my body but rather that it surrounds it. I move through it and in it, like clouds in a sky.
There is no path to truth, historically or religiously. It is not to be experienced or found through dialects; it is not to be seen in shifting opinions and beliefs. You will come upon it when the mind is free of all the things it has put together. That majestic peak is also the miracle of life.~ J. Krishnamurti, Krishnamurti’s Journal
In the center of all that is, everything.
The same center in my opened lotus heart the core of the earth the planet that, in the words of Alan Watts, “peoples” in the same way that apple trees “apple.”
The same center in the singularity that exploded itself into all that is, everywhere.
Shift the center and the center shifts. This is not meant to be a play on words but a play on reality. When we are centered, we are the center. When we center with the earth, the earth is the center. When we center with the source, we also explode out of single-pointed beingness into everything, everyone.
This is what I’m trying to say. Close your eyes. Keep breathing. Feel your self move from your brain, your head down into your heart. You know the image of the person sitting in meditation with the lotus flower instead of a heart? Picture that. Become that person, regardless of how you are sitting, regardless of your gender, regardless of your religious beliefs. Be the person sitting, breathing, with an open lotus where your heart is. That open lotus is all that is, everything, everywhere, everyone. Don’t think about it. Feel it in your open lotus heart. Keep breathing.
Now think of the Earth and the earth. Feel yourself on this miracle of a planet, this planet that peoples. Picture your open lotus heart sitting at the core of the Earth, with your body now become the body of the planet. The tiny speck that once floated into space and attracted other specks until they formed a body until they formed something solid that grew and continues to grow into something dynamic and massive until they themselves dissolved into a molten core. Center your open lotus heart there, at the core.
Then feel the pull up and out into the universe, into butterfly nebulas and dying stars, back into the pre-planet speck, unexploded back into a dense potentiality. There is the center of your open lotus heart, your body not yet being, your body about to become all that is. Every Thing. Every Where. Every One.
This is what I am trying to say.