Until it is true that there is no belief in a solid world, a solid, autonomous self, it is a living hell to walk about with a smile on your face and a dagger in your heart. In this case, it is not in truth to say you believe that this is a beautiful gift, and that you welcome it, open-heartedly. Right now, your heart is fully constricted, and being called to open. You are being shown the world, and railing against it, with all your might, because it is magic you seek - not truth, not clear seeing.
Your heart is broken and you are suffering. In this case, it is in truth to cry and scream, to beg for mercy, to acknowledge the felt terror of your circumstance. Dancing in the daisies at this time is pure delusion, absence from what is true, and is a brutal unkindness to your heart.
When it is true that this awesome, awful, sacred, treacherous dream, and everything in it, is as impersonal and transparent as air, then you will be called, in truth, to the freedom of the dream. Everything and nothing will change. Here, you will sing and dance, laugh and cry, mourn and rejoice, with a wild abandon you have never known. You may even beg for mercy to that which cannot hear you, that which cannot be heard. And you will smile and bow to this tender, empty peace.
You only have to hand over the keys and walk away.
I am not a point of departure or a final destination...
There is no ascent to me or descent beneath me...
I am the emptiness of nothing arising...
I am the awareness of knowing itself...
As infinite diamond-like glimmers of being...
What am I?
Your eyes scan the landscape before you,
Wondering what mysterious beauty lies beyond this place.
This is the mysterious beauty.
That one you long for,
Is already, always what you are.
The landscape does not change
As you float toward it.
The hills and valleys
meadows and sky
are your own embrace, waiting.
New eyes look out,
See only themselves looking back.
Vast heart swallows hard,
The throat opens again,
after the long parching fever breaks and cools.
Hands form an empty beggar's bowl
Overflowing as it meets the lips,
Alone in your encampment
Hungry ghosts huddled around the fire
Burned alive at the stake.
The flames themselves
Already wooden ashes
Never majestic standing ones,
The glorious already dead.
In this magnificent vision
So achingly beautiful
Laughter and tears flow into ether
Again, always already dead.
An imaginary mirror to see yourself
The earth you dreamed would hold and
The stars you dreamed were arranged like breadcrumbs
To follow back.
The Moon and its oceans
To give you some thing to go by.
This is the truth you came for
And now you regret the day
You were born to wander into this greedy nothingness.
A shifting black-red avalanche of terror
Thunder inside the earth!
Down you go
An explosion so horrific above you
Takes out each little twinkling sky light
Like so much faerie dust blown from a child’s hand.
An ocean flips upside down.
How long have I been here like this?
Can I stand?
Can I speak?
Is that dawn peering in the window?
What is this body laying next to me?
Can I speak?
What can I possibly say?
“Oh, good morning, love.”
“Yes, another lovely day.”
“Eggs will be fine, thank you.”
So many conditions of the human body can be healed; many of them cured. Dying is not among them.
The dying of our loved ones is most often accompanied by the private mourning of our own loss. If we are wise and brave and supported, dying is further accompanied by the more outward expression called grief, an emotion, primal and raw. Grief is an agonizing hurt. It sticks around, until you are through with it. Until it is through with you. In its time, grief, fully acknowledged and embraced, carries golden offerings of grace to the sliced open heart, now ripe for awakening love.
Living and dying cannot be parted. They happen together, each moment. Living and dying is suffering. Living and dying is liberation. Living and Dying is heaven, living and dying is hell. Living and dying is all the places, visited in between.
Living and dying is the precious human wound we all share. No one escapes, no one goes away empty-handed or empty-hearted.
There is a field of emptiness, of everything. Home. Back we come, again and again, offering this grail of everything to the thirst and hunger of nothing, smiling, bowing deep and low. No wonder we love, no wonder we grieve.
You are so loved,
Come away from all knowing. Step back and back and back from each untrue certainty that torments you, commands you, contracts you in rage. Keep stepping back until the thunder's guttural rumbling beneath you tears open the red earth, and takes you under. Until the tsunami comes. Until every semblance of you, mind, feet, or ground are penetrated and swallowed. Until you find yourself standing in an infinite field of transparency so vast and pristine, that obliteration itself glows unbroken, and beautiful. Until your heart crumbles in this nothingness of everything.
Notice if there is a tendency to believe that you must be holy and still to know yourself as Love. This is the farthest thing from the truth. Notice if there is a tendency to believe anything at all. This is what keeps you locked into your subservience to this mistaken identity.
You are everything that is happening right here in this moment. You are not that shining star, only visible when the moon is right and your waters are calm and pristine. You are that star, that moon, that water. And you are also the roiling tempest, the volcanic eruption, the earthquake's heaving clay. You are the angels that sing, and the filthy, tattered and torn lost soul begging for a coin and sleeping in the street. You are the sweet refrain of loved ones gathered in joy, and the temper tantrum that knows no end to the primal scream echoing out into eternity. You are the saint and the killer, the healed and the dead.
Love is not one thing, and not another. Know yourself as Love, and the most bitter taste dissolves on the tongue like the buttery nectar of freedom that you are.
You are so loved!
invites you to find out what you are.
The nun Wu Jincang asked the Sixth Patriach Huineng, "I have studied the Mahaparinirvana sutra for many years, yet there are many areas i do not quite understand. Please enlighten me."
The patriarch responded, "I am illiterate. Please read out the characters to me and perhaps I will be able to explain the meaning."
Said the nun, "You cannot even recognize the characters. How are you able then to understand the meaning?"
"Truth has nothing to do with words. Truth can be likened to the bright moon in the sky. Words, in this case, can be likened to a finger. The finger can point to the moon’s location. However, the finger is not the moon. To look at the moon, it is necessary to gaze beyond the finger, right?"
Analisa Domenica is a humanist minister and mentor, in private practice as a Doula for living and dying. She offers private mentoring sessions, end-of-life preparation & transition support, bereavement, home death, funeral, and natural burial guidance, and laying-on-of-hands for comfort care and pain release. Analisa joyfully celebrates weddings and memorials, according to your faith or non-faith tradition. She is available to private clients, small groups, and for public education. Find out more about her by clicking here.
'Li' lives and works in Mill Spring, NC, a stone or two's throw from Asheville, NC and Greenville/Spartanburg, SC. She also works globally via phone. You may reach her by phone at 828.429.0096 or write to her by clicking here.