Disappearing into the Emptiness of Each Moment: Colorado, Part 5
“Would you feel better if we left, Fletcher?” asked Jonathan.
“I certainly wouldn’t object too much if we did …”
Instantly they stood together a half-mile away, and the flashing beaks of the mob closed on empty air.
“Why is it,” Jonathan puzzled, “that the hardest thing in the world is to convince a bird that he is free, and that he can prove it for himself if he’d just spend a little time practising? Why should that be so hard?”
Fletcher still blinked from the change of scene. “What did you just do? How did we get here?”
“You did say you wanted to be out of the mob, didn’t you?”
“Yes! But how did you …”
“Like everything else, Fletcher. Practice.”
~ Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach ~
Part 1 of my Colorado journey can be found here: Soaring Fearlessly in Freedom
Parts 2, 3, and 4 have been left behind for now.
because i cannot read or write one thing at a time, here are also Books i am in the Midst of Reading that i have to Leave Behind:
- The Five Wisdom Energies: A Buddhist Way of Understanding Personalities, Emotions, and Relationships by Irini Rockwell
- Dharma Art by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
- Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
- Rebel Buddha: On the Road to Freedom by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
- Instructions to the Cook: A Zen Master’s Recipe for Living a Life that Matters by Tetsugen Bernard Glassman
- Sky Dancer: The Secret Life and Songs of Yeshe Tsogyel by Keith Dowman
- Dakini Power by Michaela Haas
- Dharma Gaia: A Harvest of Essays in Buddhism and Ecology edited by Allan Hunt Badiner
- Living Color: A Writer Paints Her World by Natalie Goldberg
- My rice tastes like the lake poetry by Tsering Wangmo Dhompa
- Regarding Wave poetry by Gary Snyder
letting go of those books reunites me with Books that i Dropped for Awhile and am Now Returning To because they are on my Travel-Friendly iThingy:
- The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality by the 14th Dalai Lama
- My Spiritual Journey by the 14th Dalai Lama
- The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho
- Introduction to Tantra: The Transformation of Desire by Lama Thubten Yeshe
- Searching for Zion: The Quest for Home in the African Diaspora by Emily Raboteau
I just keep trying—keep showing up. Making art is a process and that process is not that different from sitting on the cushion with your mind going to California one minute and Timbuktu the next and then going back to your breath. It’s the same process of just coming back, but it’s coming back to the work.
I allow myself to have periods, which I call hunting and gathering where I’m trying stuff—just trying anything, not even knowing what it is, not knowing whether it’s going to be in the piece that I’m working on or not. I’ve found that hunting and gathering is never a waste of time. If the material doesn’t come into this piece, it will come into another piece. It’s always worthwhile one way or another. By being open to what comes up, moments of discovery happen. Waiting and being playful are also part of the process.
~ Meredith Monk, Silence Is Part of the Song, Shambhala Sun, November 2014 ~
: videography : Dana Ming
transitions. ebbs and flows. comings and goings. endings and beginnings. all one continuous discrete moment in the dance of change and interdependence.
where do we put our attention amidst all this movement?
i am moments from leaving Colorado. i have done my best to prepare for each moment.
starting about a month in advance, i could feel the slow cross-fade of dreamland Crestone fading into the distance, the vibrant calling into attention of the east coast—NYC and then on to see my family in NJ.
in the week leading up to my departure, i had to completely reorganize. i had been living in Crestone for over four months. i needed to shed some belongings (a funny word for things), figure out what my basic needs were for the next leg of the journey, say goodbye to new friends, a job i love, a community of kindred spirits, a direct connection to meaningful teachings, and ways of living and being that felt like home.
in the days before leaving, i had to feel each hug fully, knowing all at once that this might be the last time i hug this person while feeling the wish to be with them again. i had to breathe in with this being, exhale and let go.
now in the moments before i take to the skies again, i reflect on this magical place i have been. i take a moment to acknowledge how far i have come, and where i am going. in this relative world, i have traveled to Colorado, worked in landscaping and construction on a temple, started a healing practice, gone to Tibetan Buddhist teaching programs, learned how to take care of my health while being nomadic, and spent intimate time with people, animals, and mountains. however, there is a distinct feeling that on more subtle levels, the subatomic make-up of the universe has shifted. the fabric of this interwoven web of energy has been shaken like parachutes we used to play with in grade school gym class. like lines drawn in the water, the writing is there, dissolved into a wholeness of being.
it baffles my mind that after the holidays i will continue traveling on—to Spain, Africa, and Australia. these opportunities arose as i worked diligently on understanding my soul purpose and the true nature of things. as i meditated, studied, and learned what it means to serve others, life on a grander scale started to make sense. as i emerge further out into the world, i look forward to sharing the journey with you. perhaps we can make sense of it together!
Awareness is very important. We are here, nowhere else. Since we are here, why not be here?
~ Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, True Perception: The Path of Dharma Art ~
so for now, for the time being, i am going to rest in the breath of this moment and see what happens. perhaps it will be extraordinary; perhaps it will be the beautifully mundane. either way, it will be exactly what it is—and i will be riding the energy of the moment and seeing where it takes us.
where have you come from? where are you going? can you feel the connections?
speaking of connections, the Denver Airport has free wifi. hilariously from their website:
DEN Airport Free Wi-Fi
To get online, follow these simple steps:
- Verify your wireless connection is enabled or on
- Locate the connection named, “- DEN Airport Free WiFi.” Select this network and click “Connect”
- YOU ARE CONNECTED (Watch your device melt with our ridiculously fast AND totally free Wi-Fi!)
all you have to do is enable your sense of connection and you are on, free to dissolve into the net that holds us.
If the highest form of independence is to rely on one’s own inherent wisdom, then the most significant form of that wisdom is the pure intelligence that realizes the interdependent nature of all experience. When this wisdom takes genuine birth in us, our mind becomes open and spacious and our view becomes as vast as the sky. We can translate this understanding into meaningful, compassionate action and carry it into our shared day-to-day world.
~ Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, The Three I’s of Twenty-First-Century Dharma, Shambhala Sun (November 2014) ~
as i move out into the world and figure out means to engage in compassionate social action, may i continue to take delight in practice. may i remember all i have learned during this gloriously challenging and illuminating time in Colorado. may i work to be of benefit to all beings, so that all may soar freely through clear skies.
Jonathan sighed and looked out to sea. “You don’t need me any longer. You need to keep finding yourself, a little more each day, that real, unlimited Fletcher Seagull. He’s your instructor. You need to understand him and to practise him.”
A moment later Jonathan’s body wavered in the air, shimmering, and began to go transparent. “Don’t let them spread silly rumours about me, or make me a god. O.K., Fletch? I’m a seagull. I like to fly, maybe…”
“Poor Fletch. Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding, find out what you already know, and you’ll see the way to fly.”
The shimmering stopped. Jonathan Seagull had vanished into empty air.
~ Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach ~