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Posts Tagged ‘pilgrimage’

My dear friends,

How are you keeping?  I’ve been away from this space for a long while, waiting.  Waiting for something useful to say.  Waiting for something inspirational – hopeful – motivational….To quote my practice buddy from my Yoga training, “I got nuthin’.”  And there’s the truth of it.  I feel like I’ve got nuthin’.  There’s just too much.  Too much going on.  Too much information being slammed down my throat.  Too many decisions to make.  And not enough peace to put the puzzle together.  Truthfully?  I’m at a loss.  I think I’m at a loss because I want something nice to say and, again, I got nuthin’.  So maybe, MAYBE, I need to just say what I think is not-so-nice.  And that not-so-nice piece is:

What the fuck is going on?

We’re 4 1/2 months into a pandemic, a situation where an invisible force is killing millions, and we’re pushing to “move forward into the new normal”?  I just don’t get this.  I feel like I’m caught up in a mob and I’m being pushed along in a direction I’m not sure I want to go in.  So here’s the other not-so-nice thing I’d like to say:

SLOW THE FUCK DOWN!!!

This that we’re going through is a massive piece.  David Whyte, the poet, considers this to be a time of pilgrimage, a time of sacred journeying where we leave all that we’ve even known to move off into complete mystery.  We are pulled towards the magic of the horizon, helpless to resist the call, even though we have no idea what or who awaits us there.  In the end, we realize that it’s never been the physical destination we needed to find.  What we needed to find lay deep within us.  We have always been the destination and the way.

If you’ve ever been on a pilgrimage, you know that the middle ground of the voyage is daunting.  You’re too far in to turn back and you’re not so sure where you’re going exists anymore.  You hurt.  You’re beyond weary.  You’re not sure you have the stuff to get you through to the end.  You’re pretty sure you’re going to die.  And, in fact, some part of you always dies along the way.  Pilgrimage rips you open.  It exhausts you so that you have no choice but to feel.  It’s only in feeling and moving forward from that place that you can ever reach god, the sacred place inside of you that has always been there.

Where are we being given the chance to feel now?  The level of global grief is unspeakable.  We grieve a sense of loss of freedom.  We grieve being unable to connect when we’re absolutely terrified.  We grieve not being able to say goodbye to our cherished loved ones.  We grieve not being able to perform the rituals our souls require when we lay our loved ones to rest.  We grieve the loss of so many businesses, the economic babies of our community members.  We grieve the loss of our jobs.  We grieve a sense of financial independence.  And on.  AND ON!

And still we need to push forward, “to open up the economy.”  Here’s the last not-so-nice thing I’d like to say:

Fuck your economy.

My friends and their friends, and their cousins, husbands, wives, nieces are on their knees.  We’re all on our knees right now, in the middle of the path, partway through a pilgrimage we aren’t sure will ever end.  Hearts have been blown open and are bleeding onto the streets.  There is a sense of loss that runs so deep that there is no sound; it’s beyond sound.

Once when I was on a 2 week canoe trip, one of my fellow travellers broke her arm.  We did not rush and slam her arm into a sling and push forward.  We did not make the end point our focus.  We made her pain our focus.  We made her suffering our focus.  We made her safety and comfort our goal.  So I, for one, will take a moment here as we trudge our way through this pandemic, and take a holy pause.  You will find me sitting on my pack along the side of the trail, quiet, silent.  My eyes will be closed but I will feel you.  I will feel the impact of the weight you’re carrying.  It will register with me.  It will mix with my energy, my cells.  We will become One (as we have always been).  And while you may not hear it with your ears, your soul will pick up the sound of the mantra I silently chant for all of us:

GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA

A mantra for all who are pilgrims,  all of us, whether we recognize it or not.

“Going, going, going on beyond, always going on beyond, always becoming Buddha.”

Take your time, friend.  You will get there.  We will get there.  And in the end, we’ll know “there” has always been with us.  And we’ll do it together.

Safe travels and much love,

Tabitha

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