The Great Initiation of human birth bestows on us the priestly garment of flesh, anoints us with the oil of pleasure and pain, and opens the temple of holy sensation, where we offer every perception back to its original radiance.
How many devas and angels await their moment of initiation, when they will fall from the heavens to take human birth on this planet of roses and thorns, this vale of milk and tears? For only here can they awaken pure awareness through the contrast of opposites.
Here we gain liberation from the flesh by the very flavor of it. "Taste and see that the Lord is good!" sings the Psalmist. Shakespeare writes, "Eternity was in our lips and eyes." And Zen founder Dogen tells us, "Those who gained enlightenment through seeing blossoms or hearing sounds, attained it through the body."
Awareness cannot awaken in paradise, where poppy fields pour forth their bliss in one somnambulant continuum. We birth awareness in bewilderment, amid earthly contrasts, every moment a startling paradox, a contradiction of matter and spirit, breaking chains of judgment and expectation.
Never ask, "What difference have I made?" The earth was transformed just by your being here, just by your breathing here, just by holding it in the palm of your awareness for a little while, in the warm space of your heart, before you laid it gently in its nest again. What did you whisper to the world, that it grew such star-drenched rainbow wings?
Each sensation is a portal to eternity. Our eyes, ears, nostrils and tongue are ancient spiritual practices bestowed at the Great Initiation: the moment of human birth. In no other world are such profound practices entrusted to the spiritual seeker.