I. In Search of a New Language
I am strangely joyful this evening,
Morning hike by Willard Pond. Intention clear:
To drop out of planning and into the flesh I am.
No goals but to feelingly be every step among these trees.
Alive in muscle and bone today,
Connected to the ground under me
And all that water from the rains.
This human mind is not exactly quiet
But not as tightly holding now,
Letting flesh and bones live
Just like the old oak passing by
As I bounce and run.
That’s what I have to offer.
A place for us to awaken –
Will you join me in the Mindful Barn?
Not only sitting on that cushion.
But rolling and jumping too
And trusting that juicy presence we are.
In the woods, in the cities.
I sometimes wonder about “Mindfulness”,
When there is so much that is tangibly alive.
We need to find a new language
For being awake, being
This living mind that is body,
This living body that is mind,
This cell-fulness we are.
Mindfulness – does it not, with subtlety,
Body – Mind
And mind still over matter.
How confused does it get?!
Just look at the earth, feel and taste her!
There must be another way to speak of this
Presence and life, this cellular wakefulness everywhere.
Mindfulness is not enough.
Static it sounds, and tame, and nicely polished.
What about climbing a tree, what about leaping of joy,
And losing myself in the eyes of a cat?
What about rubbing against a boulder and rolling in mud,
And realizing it is not other?
No-mind, imbued by consciousness.
And that is not new language yet.
Maybe it has to be voiced by my feet
Gestured by my belly.
II. Death of the Cool or Who gets to Sing?
What about quietly sitting by the gushing stream
Until I sing out loud,
A song of joy, a song of longing?
All is in it as I
Sit by the water, aching to be one,
To be fully embraced,
To be emptied and then
A riverbed for something bigger than I.
A Buddhist having thoughts like this?
To be washed through by divine power?
But here it is the longing
And I give it voice.
I ask to be taken in, to be deleted.
To be filled by that which is the source of all.
Not Buddha cool, again, I think.
But by denial
Longing does not go away.
I do not know why it is here.
Nor from where it comes.
That childish call for the divine.
Do I need to?
Here it is. Better to give it voice.
Better to not pretend.
And so I sing.
I sing to the woods I sing to the water I sing to the earth
I call for the presence beyond the presence,
Not because it is there but because the longing is.
That is my business.
To give voice to what I know now.
Not cool but real.
To overcome the shame and sing.
Loudly and fully – and joyfully.
Here I am, knowing little but what stirs in me.
Broken but not shattered.
This is absolutely wonderful. Beautifully felt; beautifully said.
Thank you, Cathy.
I’m sorry I won’t see you at the conference this weekend.
I’m sorry not to see you too. It is a bit strange not to be at Vallambrosa but I’m happy to be where I am. I’ll have a bit of Sensory Awareness history tomorrow night too, meeting Lisle Kulbach for the first time, the daughter of the late Johanna Kulbach, student of Elsa Gindler. She plays Sephardic songs with “The Voice of the Turtle”. Happy conference! Stefan
Oh, how wonderful. The conference was lovely. Perhaps, I’ll see you there next year. You were definitely acknowledged and missed.
I would love to join you in the Mindful Barn, with/without the red nose, construction helmet and tutu. Thank you, Stefan, for this moving reflection.
Can’t wait! Bring red noses.