The cabin was surrounded by dense forest and nestled on the edge of a huge canyon. That night there was a new moon and between bouts of deep sleep I had awoken repeatedly from dreams of past, present and future. There was fresh water, a fire, logs, fresh herbs and comfortable furnishings. The dappled sunlight drew many contrasts and the latent energies and stories left by visitors formed part of the fabric of the space and time.
How I arrived there was not by chance, there was karma in it, there was intent in it and there was peace in it. The peace was as much cultivated and brought as it was a reflection and enhancement of the environment.
It’s more apparent to me each day that the energy, focus and attention I bring to my body, heart and mind, the better things become for those I interact with and also for myself. As I dropped one of my Dharma brothers off at the Blackheath Vipassana centre to serve again, I was reminded of the reticence by many in their daily lives to stop and investigate deeply that which they are. It is perhaps a luxury, though some would say a necessity to take time to be fully present within oneself. Presence may be cultivated through direct experience and investigation of oneself. This process benefits from a reduction and preferably a temporary cessation of external stimuli. Many of us numb reality and gravitate towards information rich and stimulating environments all the while ignorant of the subtle and even gross effects on our bodies, hearts and minds. As we stream experience in to our consciousness we also ingest air, water and food which constitute our being. It is not until we fast or shift large portions of these many diets that we have the ability to experientially compare and contrast different states of being.
There is indeed a certain dualism and test driven mentality that leads to a more holistic physical, mental and spiritual approach to life - but unfortunately not many have the awareness, will, time nor resources to indulge in such experimentation. Some continue seeking elsewhere or get trapped in the seeking itself (all the while believing something better is just around the next corner). Some never realise that a process of 'selective watering' is available to them internally at any moment. A process which does not require external journeying to elicit calmness, contentedness, tranquility, empathy or compassion. Once the choice is made to explore the inner world and not exclusively the outer world, a profound shift entails. The inward journey has no destination and is founded upon a constant arriving in the present e.g. the here and now. A new awareness is born and the life stream is never the same again.
Our relationships with people and things are predicated upon and evolve based upon our perceptions, emotions, consciousness and form. We find ourselves in certain environments, clusters of people or events due to complex yet simple connections and the conscious or unconscious choices we make every second. For the most part, that which we sow we reap. On each persons journey there may be fear of loss or that of a void, however the void is not empty, it is full of potential and there are many islands if required. These islands are those of other people and communities also on the path (sometimes encountered in the most unexpected of spaces).
As a liquid lifeform some of the most important things beyond basic survival may be:
- realising the control and potential you have to shape your own substance and that of others
- how you relate to, interact with and affect other entities and your environment
- which environments and entities to share and grow your energies with