What do I know in myself, what have I discovered over these many years in this body on this heart wrenching and beautiful beyond words planet? What I know for sure is that each of us is a mystery to be unfolded – and the longer I live the more mysterious it seems. What is unfolding through me, drawing me to certain adventures, to resonate with one person and not another, the owl and raven, the particular tree or place in the woods? It is through my relationships, through the connections that I forge, that I see more parts of myself.
Interconnectedness, what Thich Nhat Hanh has termed interbeing, is how I learn about myself. I am intertwined with the sun and moon, earth and water, raven, tiger, and hummingbird. Each of these beings are a part of me. When I expand myself through my desire to connect, I am feeling yet another part of the cosmos within myself, and I am juiced and renewed by that intertwining.
In the words of Thich Nhat Hanh: When we look into our own bodily formation, we see Mother Earth inside us, and so the whole universe is inside us, too. Once we have this thought of interbeing, we can have real communication with the Earth. This is the highest possible form of prayer. This is the most precious wisdom I have learned, that within every cell of my body there is the earth, the sun, the cosmos. We are made of earth and sun and stars. Sitting, walking or breathing, we have the ability to quietly feel into ourselves and feel held and embraced by the the entire cosmos.
The loneliness and sense of isolation I felt when I was younger is gone. I remember feeling deeply alienated, not wanting to be here. Meditating, feeling into my body, being with my emotions, writing, moving and dancing, breathing and opening, I gradually came to awe – and developed a sense of wonder for the unfolding process of my life. The mystery and beauty of life have drawn me deeper into communication with all my relations. This interconnectedness is the highest form of prayer.
I’d love to hear what has drawn you deeper, what has opened you in this lifetime.
Oddly, loneliness, as you posted about in another entry, has been what has drawn me most deeply into the mystery. Alone and searching for connection, what you write here is also what I’ve found, although I find it difficult to maintain the connection in the busy, honking, blaring cacophony of this Western world. Thank you for reminding me, all of us, to return to the natural rhythms of our bodies and nature.
Thank you, Marcia. Sometimes, perhaps most often, it takes the desperation of the dark night to wake us to the consciousness around and in us. We cannot make it alone, and we are ultimately far from alone, tree sisters and mother earth and the wise chattering birds, father sun and all embracing fog – and all the beautiful people.