River Thoughts II

This morning I made a quick stop at the river before going off to class to see what it was like. It had been foggy in the early morning, but by nearly 9:00 AM it had totally burned away.

The river was still - like a plate of glass - and I so longed to get in it. The river drew me - I could not go and teach before first seeing it and at least visually connecting with it. The river now sustains me, and indeed I feel, it animates my very soul. I watched longingly as one kayaker reverently launched himself into its healing waters in the process of deep cleansing.

I did return at 11:30 AM and the river was still like a plate of glass. As usual, I paddled upstream to my favorite spot, now taken over by the underwater grasses, which is supposed to be a good thing from what I read. Yet the insight that came to me was that these grasses seemed to be choking the river as much as some of my repetitive thought patterns were...

On the corner of the island that I usually pass, stood one lone blue heron, magnificently perched among the grasses. Again, I imagined that it was the one I frequently encounter.

What a graceful and elegant creature he is! I lost myself in the present moment as we locked gazes. I have no notion of how much time went by. He stood motionless - or moved in slow motion as I moved in and out of meditation. He too, seemed lost in contemplation as we danced in and out of our respective meditative experiences.

Grace stood motionless as well - held in place by the grasses that were so thick in this spot that I could not - and did not float downstream. But I think that Grace and the river also sensed that they were privy to an experience and encounter that was very special and unique. I could have stayed there for hours. Finally, I literally had to urge myself to start paddling again and head back to the boat launch as I had a lot of work to do in my office.

Despite all the things that have happened in my life, it is an incredible gift for me to come to the river and commune with it. Sometimes the only sound I hear is that of bass flapping in the water, of herons, which today gracefully skipped and danced over the surface of the river, and of insects buzzing all about.

While I gazed at this magnificent heron, I offered him Reiki and reflected on how we were both part of God's creation - both of us a Divine spark shot forth from his heart. For one brief moment there was no separation between us. There was so time. And I felt peace.

I also thought of how lucky this heron was - to be a full time resident of the river - enjoying its silence and ample opportunities for contemplation endlessly - without deadlines and tasks that need to be accomplished or the necessity to earn a living. What a joy that must be!

Yesterday, in my Reiki 3 class, we spent a lot of time discussing how Reiki as a spiritual practice enables us to experience oneness and helps us to go into a space of non-duality from which to do our work.

I know that for those brief moments when the heron and I gazed into each other's soul, time stood still and there was no separation between us. We were not members of different species. We were one. I I know that we both experienced non-duality in its essence.

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