Yesterday, I spent the entire day doing, within the context of being. I spent hours driving my car, picking up people from one location and delivering them to another. Today, I’m continuing to focus on being and doing in my study. This practice has taken me years of work to have any real success with it and still requires great attention and awareness. It came to me a few years back while on a solo retreat reading Meister Eckhart. It’s the conscious awareness of remaining within the Self while going out with the self.
Ordinarily our focus is entirely outside ourselves on the gross physical realities with no real awareness of the more subtle and causal experiences going on within and beyond us. Rather than being Self reflective and aware, we’re mostly self referencing and ego centric which means we focus more on doing than being. This is all a product of our cultural conditioning and values that honor the form while ignoring the substance. As I look out onto the snowy day I’m reminded of the inner and outer seasons of change.
For centuries humans have recognized the interconnectivity of birth, growth, maturity, death and new life. We’ve celebrated this interactivity through solemn observances and silly ones to give honor and poke fun at our overly pious presuppositions. At the end of October and beginning of November we mix the commemoration of all saints and souls that have gone before with both piety and frivolity. This celebration in America is called Halloween which comes from All Hallowed Eve. It’s a somber and frivolous festival.
For many it’s an Autumn interlude between what has been and what will be; a pause between the past, present and future that takes on the flavor of a feast of fools, of merry pranksters, joyous jesters and wily wayfarers. It invites joyful jocularity that clowns around, throws fate to the wind, thumbs its nose at death and destruction, plays with ghosts, goblins and all other creatures of darkness. It calls for light heartedness, playful fun and frivolity. We carve pumpkins, get caught in spider webs and laugh at death.
Here, doing is being and being is doing. They find ways of dancing together, embracing what appears to be duality but is actually sacred unity weaving itself together in ways that few understand. The experiences are meant to thrill, teach and scare us into a new awareness so we may accept and embrace death as part of life rather than as a separate fearful reality. Emptiness and fullness are the same, seen from different perspectives. Life and death are filled with open space where possibilities are infinite.
This points is to the ever present emergence of Essence, innocence and childlikeness which allow us all to live inside the shared field of deep inner experience with courage, patience, tenderness and unconditional Love. Here we begin to see more possibilities and find ways to be ready for anything with tears and laughter, loss and gain, meaning, purpose and an emptiness that is open for what wants to come. I and me become us and we which teaches that external things come/go and won’t make us happy for long.
We begin to recognize the ever changing landscapes of external realities. We give more attention to the depth of soul that sees new opportunities for greater Presence and Awareness within both darkness and light. These activities provide ongoing playful interludes, breaks between the dramas of our morality plays for power and control. Ludus, Latin for play, root of interlude, points to the intervals of sanity in the insane illusion of separation to reconnect us with our original Source identity of Light and Life.
As we awaken to the last month of Autumn, let us be aware of the death and dying that leads to new life. Let us be here now to embrace these ever changing Seasons of Soul; to contemplate and celebrate the ongoing transformation process, to remember that everyone’s opinions are limited, including our own. In so doing, we’ll more fully awaken to our inner being. We’ll discover the Oneness of All Being where infinite possibilities are ever present inviting playful interludes of balance and deeper intimacy.
- As we move from October to November, reflect on the changing nature of your outer and inner being. What do you need/want to let go of to let come? What inner dramas are still causing you concern. What light can you bring to them for healing?
- In the drama of birth, life, maturity, death and new life, where are you? How are you experiencing the nakedness of the trees, the chill of the breeze, the joyfulness of release that leads to new life?
- Meditate and journal on the playfulness, innocence and essence that is within you. Ponder how you can release more of this energy for greater balance and intimacy.