When the waters rise and the sun goes dark
Discovering our True Nature
In the space of one week we have experienced two historic events; the total eclipse of the sun and Hurricane Harvey.
In their own way,
each has been a spectacle,
each has brought people to their knees, and
each has created a profound opportunity to reveal our true nature.
My neighbor just came back from North Carolina after having witnessed the eclipse first hand.
She spoke of the quiet stillness and reverence that hung in the air as the large gathering watched the sun disappear behind the moon.
As I listened I could see and feel her experience; the awe, the excitement, the deep connection to others, the shared exuberant celebration afterwards.
And it seems to me that it is in times like these that our presence to the moment strips away any sense of Self as we become one with the experience and, if we allow it, become connected to all of humanity.
It seems to me that any concerns, grievances and personal thoughts seem to evaporate as our mind and our state of being expands to embrace a feeling of oneness and sheer joy for everything and everyone.
What is revealed to us, in moments like these, is greater than we may realize.
What is revealed to us, in moments like these, is our true nature.
What is revealed to us, in moments like these, is the place and the feeling we are naturally meant to live from.
As I watch the news on Hurricane Harvey and talk with a dear friend in Houston, I am once again awed by the profound revelation that comes from such tragedy:
People helping people.
People coming together.
People giving freely, generously, gratefully.
People doing what comes naturally.
People living and acting from their true nature.
Have you ever noticed how, in moments of shared celebration, it seems rather easy to access our feelings of joy and love and goodwill toward others?
Perhaps you've experienced such feelings at a rock concert or a symphony or an opera or a party or a gathering or a march?
Those feelings came easily, non?
Have you ever noticed how, in moments of shared crisis, it seems rather easy to access our feelings of compassion and generosity and gratitude toward others?
Perhaps you've experienced such feelings following 9/11 or the Boston Bombing or Hurricane Katrina or the loss of a loved one.
Those feelings came easily as well, non?
But...if such feelings reveal our true nature, and can come to us so easily, why can't we seem to live from that place all the time?
Why is it that so many of us can relate to the lyrics of John Lennon as he writes,
"You wanna save humanity
But it's people that you just can't stand."
In a word: thought.
Or rather, personal thought.
When not caught up in our own personal narrative with its endless list of grievances and concerns, fears and worries,
it is the most natural thing in the world for us to
give freely of ourselves
express unconditional love, compassion and understanding
marvel at the wonder of life
live in a feeling of joy, gratitude and goodwill.
THIS is who we are
when we lose our Selves
and shake free of personal thought.
It is our birth right.
It is innate.
It lives within all of us,
And we know this to be true because of how we feel when we experience it.
It feels good.
It feels right.
It feels lighthearted.
It feels expansive.
It feels free.
It feels like home.
And Lord knows, home is where the heart lives.
"There is no exercise better for the heart than bending down and lifting someone up." - John Holmes