Looking Down the Road and the River - Two Years Later

I awaken, two years to the day, when circumstances and a soul first lured me down to the river. I had no idea what journey I would be undertaking shortly...It would take me away from all that I had known and held securely. It would bid me to let go, and journey deeply into the unknown...

It is a Saturday, and Halloween as well, and after reading the paper at my neighborhood Starbucks, filled with costumed folks of all sizes and hues, I head down to the river, just to make a brief visual connection, and acknowledge this Sacred Temple of Healing Waters, and all that it has been and provided to my heart...

A confluence of feelings, memories and inspirations swirl within my soul, stirring so much within, just as a confluence of waves merge and dissipate - no one can tell where one begins and the other ends...

I finish this river journal today. I know the river will continue to play a part in my spiritual life and healing, and that messages will come from time to time. I know I will continue to write about the insights and gifts received here - but I also know that they will not culminate in a third volume to The River Speaks. Other projects and experiences will give way. Nothing lasts forever. It is the gift of impermanence which continually invites us to let go. And this is simply, my greatest lesson in this lifetime. I know it now. I have always known it. But I understand all the ramifications and nuances of this lesson in a way I had never intuited before...

I have been a pilgrim to this river in every season and state of my soul - from times of complete despair to moments of exquisite joy. I have experienced the Divine on these riverbanks...

As Tanmayo sings in Dust at Your Feet:

"When all is said and done,
this heart still yearns for you."

As Catherine Doherty observed in Poustinia: Encountering God in Silence, Solitude and Prayer:

"The water is faith. As you move...the water becomes fresher and you have the feeling that you can really move now. Now faith begins to grow in you. You begin to understand that faith is not of the understanding, but is a gift of God...

You arrive at a beautiful river. You come to the edge of it and know that you can drink from it until you die. Now faith has taken hold of you and nothing, nothing can separate you from the river. You realize through your journey you have fallen in love with God, and it was really his face you saw [in every challenge, and every experience]..."

This morning, I connected with a soul I had not been in contact with for a while, and summarized my life experiences of the last two years...

Throughout the course of this week, I have marveled at the intricate web of connections in my life - and how each person - whether they remained in my life or not - taught me something - or connected me with another soul that I needed to learn something from or share something with. I was also fascinated how even though I had lived my life around the periphery of some others, there was a right moment in time for us to meet and really come to know each other...

Some of these connections have been incredible, and I could not help but see the hand of God operating strongly behind the scenes, much as the producer or director of plays or movies does...

I read late into the night, excerpts from the Radiance Sutras, translated by Lorin Roche, and recommended by a dear soul, tasting their sensuality and their joy in my soul, acknowledging the vibrant life that has arisen within me like a phoenix from the ashes of what I mourned for so long:

"Be wildly devoted to someone, or something.
Cherish every perception.
At the same time, forget about control.
Allow the Beloved to be itself and to change.

Passion and compassion, holding and letting go,
This ache in your heart is holy.
Accept it as the rise of intimacy
With Life's secret ways.

Devotion is the Divine streaming through you
from that place in you before time.
Love's energy flows through your body,
Toward a body, and into Eternity again.

Surrender to this current of devotion.
And become one with the body of love."

Yes, I surrender to the current of love, as I have surrendered to the currents on this river and the perceptions and the insights that it has yielded. So many lessons have been learned, and there are still so many lessons yet unfurling - layers within layers - to be peeled back and assimilated in my long journey back to the heart of the Divine - my final resting place - and my only goal in life. I want to be nowhere else. I will pay whatever price I must, to claim this as my Eternal home...

I have never liked the song "Amazing Grace," but this past week I found a rendition by Tanmayo that moved my being to the core. Her refreshing interpretation of the lyrics and music drew me in so deeply, I lost my soul in the Eye of the Hurricane of Divine Love, and found it to be a fitting anthem for where I have been - and where I am going:

"Amazing Grace, how sweet this sound,
that saves someone like me.
I once was lost but now I'm found,
was blind, but now can see.

T'was Grace that taught this heart to beat,
and Grace, all fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
the hour I first believed.

Into your hands, I lay my spirit,
Into your hands, I lay my soul.
Into your hands, I lay my spirit,
Into your hands, I lay my soul.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
This soul's already come.
T'was your Grace that brought this soul thus far,
and your Grace will bring me home.

Amazing Grace, how sweet this sound,
that saves someone like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
was blind but now can see.

Into your hands, I lay my spirit,
Into your hands, I lay my soul...

OM namo Gurudev, namo
OM!"

Yes, I bow to you, Divine Spirit - my True Teacher - to you I bow, and give thanks, for now, and forever! Amen!

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