Thursday, 7 January 2010

When we take the stop and stare.....

I braved it to come to London yesterday because of a commitment I had given my word to. With my trusty little netbook the train is now a valuable time where I don't get distracted by email and I can dedicate an hour solely to writing. At one point I was writing so intensely but felt an urgent need to look up from the computer and out of the window. The beauty of the site that greeted my eyes took my breath away. My eyes were treated to the beauty of the pristine whiteness of the rolling hills and the snow covered branches of the trees. I was immediately spellbound by the grandeur and awesomeness of nature and it confirmed for me what I have intuited for many years that nature is the form of the Divine. It has to be - what else could be so perfect in its simplicity and also its perceived complexity. The grandeur that I saw humbled me greatly but it also gave me an immense joy and freedom. I often feel these deep feelings of peace, calm, joy and bliss well up from deep within me without there being a concrete reason for them. They just come for no reason.

I arrived in London and went to a cafe where I used to go quite often but haven't been for a while. When I walked in the man there who in the past had never been very friendly had a huge smile for me and asked me where I had been as I hadn't come in for a while. I was both surprised and delighted. I noticed that he had made the cafe bigger and I asked him some questions about how he had done that. Once again I was aware of a complete ease and freedom where before there would have been that nagging unease that I had lived with up to the end of 2009. It is so great to be able to compare and then to appreciate. It reminds me of the necessity of the relative comparable world in order to experience. If everything is happiness then there would be no sadness to contrast it with. If everything is up then there is no down to contrast it with. The relative world is necessary for human beings to experience different states of consciousness. The reason why we resist sadness is because of not knowing how long it is going to last and as the Buddha said human beings are obsessed with obtaining pleasure and avoiding pain but yet pleasure and pain are necessary to experience the richness of life.

I ordered a jacket potato in the cafe and I was so grateful when he brought it to me and I saw how carefully he had done it. I acknowledged this care to him and it brought from him such a wide smile. I must admit to becomming a little alarmed at this stage as to 'why me' for all this care and attention but then I let it go realizing that there is still that element of fear small as it is. I thoroughly enjoyed my jacket and acknowledged him for it and then I left. Just as I was going out through the door he said 'see you again soon'. It is this element of life that makes it so special for me.

I made my way to the commitment I had made which I had been determined to honour and I was speaking to a lady and I said something. She immediately said 'you are not listening to me'. In the past I would have gone into myself beating myself up about being a failure at listening but what it would have been hiding was the fear of the imagined threat that there now was to my safety by her acting in what I would have seen as threatening. With that gone, it was natural for me to lean into her (in the past I would have backed away), apologise authentically and request her to repeat what she had said. I did all this while all the time looking her directly in the eye. Something in the way I did this resonated with her and she gave me a huge smile and repeated what she had said and I said 'right, I understand that now, thank you'. We finished the conversation with freedom and ease and I was left once again so grateful to the forces which act to show me just how far I have come over the last few years.

I walked gingerly back to my hostel where I am staying and even the real fear of falling on a spot of black ice wasn't strong enough to stop the spring in my carefully placed steps....

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