We can learn to see reality. Just seeing it and living with it is healing. It brings us to a new kind of spontaneity, the spontaneity of a child who appreciates the freshness of life, the directness of experience. We must recover this spontaneity in order to enter the kingdom. It is the spontaneity of true morality, of doing the right thing naturally, not living our lives by rule books but by living our lives by the only morality, the morality of love. The experience of love gives us a renewed capacity to live our lives with less effort. Live becomes less of a struggle, less competitive, less acquisitive, as it opens up for us what we have all glimpsed in some way at some time through love, that our essential nature if joyful. Deep down we are joyful beings. If we can learn to savour the gifts of life and see what life truly is, we will be better equipped to accept its tribulations and its suffering. This is what we learn gently, slowly, day by day, as we meditate.
After meditation: “The Thing Is” by Ellen Bass in MULES OF LOVE (Rochester, NY: American Poets Continuum Series, No. 73, 2002), e-book location 865.
The Thing Is
to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
When grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.