Crossing the River Bravely

I paddle upstream in the early morning coolness, marveling and reflecting on so many unexpected recent events...Most of the time, my mind is distracted by expectations that cloud my ability to see the unexpected...

A friend shares, that expectations are pre-meditated resentments, and I think of how much pain and suffering comes from focusing on expectations...

Friends and students from various stages of my life come flooding back into my life in most unexpected ways - thanks to Google and Facebook. I am tracked down and hear from many I remember fondly...How ironic that in a year when so many "exited" my life, others come back, pouring in...

My life has taken very interesting and almost radical turns over the few decades...

I briefly contemplate a whole battery of medical exams, MRI's, and PT sessions I must undertake and know that it is all for the best, trying not to dwell on these details...

Then I reflect on these words, uttered by the Buddha, and their relevance for me:

"Cross the river bravely;
conquer all your passions.
Go beyond the world of fragments
and know the deathless ground of life.

Cross the river bravely;
conquer all your passions.
Go beyond your likes and dislikes
and all fetters will fall away.

The sun shines in the day,
the moon shines in the night.
The warrior shines in battle,
the brahmin in meditation.
But day and night the Buddha shines
in radiance of love for all...

Brahmins have reached the end of the way;
they have crossed the river of life.
All that they had to do is done;
they have become one with all life."

This becoming one with life - is easier said than done...And yet it is the journey that I am on - to let go of everything - and see no separation and leave behind all duality...The river has certainly beckoned me, and I have crossed it bravely and safely...

I paddle upstream and reach my favorite spot, meditate and then float downward in the stillness and the emptiness that is paradoxically full...

I put my paddle inside of Grace and surrender to the mercy of this river...

It amazes me how every stroke of my paddle creates a wave that changes the surface of this river. Truly, every one of our actions - no matter how small - impacts on circumstances and others - sometimes in very profound ways that we do not see or know of - sometimes for years...I am saddened by how I unknowingly hurt others, and sometimes drown and choke on the grief flowing from how others have hurt me, unknowingly as well...

The river I paddle in is never the same twice, just like our own lives changing constantly with every decision and action...

Thoughts come and go of surrendering deeply on my new mat last night, in the early evening, surrounded by a sweet mantra to the Divine Feminine, I had not heard in a year...I feel the same love and mystical embrace I felt yesterday in my monthly Reiki meditation group. I know there is no where to go but up...

Former high school students of mine come back into my life, and I remember all of them - some of them are now in their forties. I taught them in my twenties, starting in 1979 - more than a lifetime ago. They share how I touched their lives - but the truth is - they touched mine very deeply as well...

I feel like Julie Andrews in the "Sound of Music" singing: "Somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good." Surely the good we do cancels out a lot of the rest - the failings, the transgressions, and acts that were not self-less?

I receive a new book in the mail, and I open to a page with a reading from St. Francis de Sales. It is a reading I am familiar with, and heard over and over again in my nearly twenty-five years teaching in Visitation schools. I am amazed that it falls into my lap - right now - at this moment in my life:

"Do not look with fear
on the changes and chances of this life.
Rather look to them with full faith that as they arise,
God - whose you are - will deliver you out of them.
He has kept you hitherto.
Do not but hold fast to His dear hand,
and He will lead you safely through all things;
and when you cannot stand,
He will bear you in His arms.

Do not anticipate what will happen tomorrow.
The same everlasting Father who cares for you today
will take care of you tomorrow and every day.
Either He will shield you from suffering, or
He will give you unfailing strength to bear it.
Be at peace, then, and put aside all anxious thoughts
and imaginations..."

And then I paddle back home, buoyed by the support of the unseen, which visited and upheld me yesterday, and is with me now - and always...


Cynde said…
this is an awesome post Olga - and it's just as Tolle says - we cannot re-live our moments - so it serves us to let go of the past and of the future (and the anxiety it bring us) and be in the Now. I owe you one for recommending "A New Earth"! and I will be back to practice with you once my life settles down into a routine again. I'm glad we can be connected here though.

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