Meditation: Living in the Mystery


buddha statueAt five in the morning I stumble out of bed, splash my face with cold water and find my way to my cushion.  Sitting cross legged and with a relaxed posture I close my eyes and simply relax my mind into the silent contentment of the moment.  There is stillness and freshness in morning’s air.  Earth’s fragrances are sweet and comforting.  The cheerful chorus of birds has begun to summon squirrels and raccoons to their early duties.  And my breath begins to sway and carry my mind into the empty field of calm awareness.  I slowly relax into a reflective contemplation of the Unknown. The Unknown has become a place of repose.  The Unknown has become a place of sustenance and nourishment.  As the night sky beckons our curiosity to leap into the depths of space, the vast spaces between my thoughts open and invite my heart to embrace the misty shadows of eternity.

What a vast mystery is this stillness.  I have no answers to the questions lurking within the blank spaces before me.  Moreover, I cannot clearly see the questions.  Curiosity fails to illuminate the dark corners.  And then all is absorbed in the still, calm rhythm of the breath.

Thoughts gently give way to a restful sanctuary of mind and heart.  Thoughts of tomorrow and yesterday lose their grip on the present.  Worries, judgments, fears and resentments gradually release their spell and slip into the abyss.  The puny notions, memories and images that have defined me also vanish.  I am washed away with the tide of breath lapping upon the shore of consciousness.  All that remains is an exquisite tenderness.

The great mystery continues to unfold and reveal the better nature of my being.  But there are no words to paint and frame the beauty of this moment.  No story line emerges to reveal the meaning of the novel of my life.  All that was swept away with other empty thoughts. Expectation and anxiety are slowly transformed into contentment.  For the great mystery is, itself, complete.

Cast adrift, I see the open waters of awareness surround and uphold me.  Letting go, I relax into the drifting tides of time and space.  The vastness is devoid of greed and envy, hatred and contempt.  There are no walls of bitterness or chains of regret.  But there is a sweet perfume of loving kindness wafting through the stillness.  Subtle, yet somehow present, there is a womb of protection and comfort.

I cannot describe the mystery.  I cannot tell the story of a journey into stillness.  Lacking the insight and the talent of the sages, I am content to live alone in the mystery.  The only evidence remaining from my journey are the slight tears of joy that greet me when I find myself still sitting on my cushion. The morning has matured and I am once more ready to become absorbed in the every day cares of the world.  With gratitude, I greet the day.