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Living Dharma

As I age, I feel nearer to death. In this process, I appreciate the shift from the foreground of identities, roles, and dramas to a formless background. Call it Spirit if you like. In the Dharma, we call it awareness, however that word is so journeyed it sometimes feels drained out. 

Life often feels like a wave. Even as it hits the shore its return to the ocean is already in motion. That ocean, that background, offers an unexpected lens. A more expansive, deeper view where the compartments we put life in start to dissolve, revealing the actual closeness of everything. Past and future collide, a cosmology of the unseen becomes ever more alive, a toppling of assumptions into the simplicity of awe; all are unexpected companions. 

Even though humans mapped out every last thing, in the end, we will have to bow into the essential mystery of life. The first teaching I received from Ajahn Chah was his simple gesture of a bow. Decades later, that still says something important to me. It says, “Let go.” 

We need to co-create a new story from a different understanding of ourselves. Somehow, we need to finish with the old stories that imprison human consciousness in cycles of fear, violence, shame, and a range of oppressive whispers and actions that keep the unhappy wheel of karma turning.

Ajahn Chah used the term, “living Dharma.” Mindfulness, tapping the living Dharma, the wisdom from beyond, can guide our steps. If we listen to the waves returning to their source, we find lucidity, perhaps even quantum shifts of possibility. We will hear how to heal hearts as we stumble toward a truer home.

Spirit Medium

This time is not for dragging
through the dungeons
of our lifetimes.

Instead, look as the veils lift
and let the dead come.

Let the monsters, the vomit wave,
raw fear, and howling arrive too.

So many line-up
I know them all.

Let the long silences be spoken in true words,
like cracking stones falling
into the right neighborhoods of the heart.

Sew any loose threads into love messages
and offer forgiveness and freedom to all.

The hummingbirds will take each envelope
to your destined shore of redemption.

Step from the mind
into the rose-scented breeze of love
shuddering the wheel to Stop.

It all comes down to this in the end.
Freedom for them is freedom for us.

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