Today I went up on Mt. Tamalpais to sense more deeply the shape my life might be taking after my mother's passing. I walked to a tree I have visited for more than 40 years. Beneath the tree were two deer bones and a spray of blooming daffodils. I have no idea who put them there or for what purpose. Encountering this combination of death and rebirth, in this place on this day, all I could do was bow in gratitude and awe to the Great Mystery that nurtures and guides us every day of our lives.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
After a long illness and a troubled life, my mother passed away. Despite her best efforts to create a beautiful home for us and her appreciation of art and literature, she never seemed to feel at home in this world. She never felt comfortable in her own skin. Hopefully, death has brought her some peace. My mother's passing stirred up many unresolved feelings and disappointments. It agitated much grief. At first, I wanted to avoid this grief, to distract myself from this mess of emotions. I wanted to turn away from my fears of mortality, the seeming futility of living and block out the mystery of death.In the middle of the night, however, I quieted down enough to experience my feelings. Below the meanings and stories of my mind, flowed vast tides of hope and fear, pleasure and pain, wisdom and uncertainty, and an ocean of emotion that could not be contained by words. In this sea of grieving, something shifted. Exactly what, I cannot say. But I experienced each sensation as a current of energy, a flow of consciousness. Feeling these currents of energy was to be alive. It was Being surging through the numbness of Not Being.
Feeling these sensations of energy without clinging to them or avoiding them, I noticed the still space they flowed through. I sensed this still space as the womb of creation, the Great Mother that spawned my mother (and me) and nurtured us throughout our lives. I also sensed this still space, this womb of creation, as the home of all sensations, the home she (and I) always searched for. It was always in the background whether or not we noticed it.
The willingness to feel the currents of both pleasure and pain is the willingness to feel alive. It is the willingness to notice the spacious stillness of the womb of creation and be at home with all sensations. Opening to the aliveness of both pleasure and pain and the home of these sensations is an affirmation of my life. It is a dynamic, living healing. I'm glad to be alive to feel this. I'm grateful to the Great Mother and The Great Home for birthing us, sustaining us and receiving us whenever and however we follow the currents of experience into them.