1/20/2015

Caress

One gentle sensation of breath, caressing the alveoli and the heart,  can liberate this anxious mind. One inhalation may bring boundless peace. All that is required is a body, and a little awareness. This is why I receive the gift of breathing.

And in an instant, one electric stroke of fur or flesh can silence my haughty intellect, puffed up with argument and ideology. This is why I receive the gift of sensation. I welcome the sacraments of light, sound, smell, taste. Imagine being trapped in this mind, stuck in concepts and beliefs for thousands of years without a body! That is just what happens to the ancestors, hungry ghosts, and demigods.

Myriad discarnate souls yearn for this human form, in order to attain liberation through the kiss of awareness and sensation. Out of billions, I get the opportunity to be born on earth. What an honor!

Here is a chalice of the finest wine. No, a cup of nectar will do, or a single berry on the tongue. And if I am truly awake, even a sip of pure water is magic enough for the sacrament.

Shakespeare wrote, "Eternity was in our lips and eyes." Zen Master Dogen said, "Those who gained enlightenment by seeing blossoms or hearing sounds, achieved it through the body." Rumi sang, "Forget every touch and every sound that did not teach you how to dance!" And Jesus said, "Take, eat, this is my body."

The secret of salvation is not a belief, but a sacred meal; not knowledge, but a kiss. The original sin? To think about living on earth instead of touching the ground with my feet...

Most of my life I lived in the next room, separated from the radiance of the world by a thin gray wall of thought. I didn't dwell on the earth, but in my abstraction of the earth, my mental soliloquy. Then I got saved by the grace of that crushed blueberry on my lips. I remembered what it was like when I was a child, when I swam as a body of light in a sea of light.

Then the flavors of the earth burst through the haze of conceptual thinking. I stripped off the armor of names and let the Nameless caress my nakedness. I felt the unction of soil on my soles. Now I whisper the secret; I won't charge you an initiation fee...

Flesh is not the obstacle to Spirit. What binds us is the chain of our ideas, the manacle of our abstractions. This body is the savior who has come to deliver us from the prison of the mind. Heaven is a dandelion brushing against your cheek, inviting you to dance on earth. Anyone who has an awakened body breathes divinity now.


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