“We have to continue to learn. We have to be open. And we have to be ready to release our knowledge in order to come to a higher understanding of reality.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Perhaps accomplished Zen masters comprehend and experience all relations present at each moment. While I aspire to get there, I’m not there, and may not be in this life. In a not-so-distant memory, I could only feel connected to others on an intimate level, in-person. Sure, I made contact and arranged rendezvous over the phone. Enjoyed sending and receiving real, handwritten mail, some with nice, or even exotic scents. Handwriting and the smells of paper could evoke longing, remembering. But increasingly it is now a challenge to connect personally with others. Even those I’ve known for many years. I know that you are in me, and I in you, yet these are brave new world days of automation. I used to be able to tell if it was real or it was Memorex. I’m sure you could, too. Now, the latest communication can feel and seem less real. Email seems rather impersonal. Messages out into cyberspace that are often not replied to. Even the NSA doesn’t acknowledge reading it. Now, please listen to the options as our menu has changed. Am I the only one vying for other’s attention who incessantly stare at an electronic device awaiting instant, momentary gratification from someone, or something, which is otherwise not present? Was that your phone? A text?
It’s so wonderful to really listen to another. See his face, listen to her eyes while the language of her body conveys a deeper truth. Hearing what is said, and not said. Understanding, compassion and true love glow like burning embers during time spent offering one’s true presence. Where have you been, dear one, and where do you aspire to go now? Sharing from the heart. Trusting, feeling safe with secrets, whether pleasant or difficult. Learning each other’s stories, as they are told now, as they grow, and dynamically evolve through concentration, insight and letting go.
For blogging friends I’d like to share examples of stories that, I believe, offer hope of connection. Not just notions of connectivity, but the real experience. To help us experience more of ourselves and each other. Interconnection with all our relations: people, animals, plants, minerals, and even stars. Most of the stories I will share come from “Shooting Stars”, a children’s radio show I produced over ten years ago. This first story is called, “on the day before you came”, and is told by the writer, Paul Reynolds. In gratitude to him for telling it at a yoga teacher’s training I was attending. Hope you enjoy listening to it alone, or in the presence of a loved one. Perhaps with that other device turned off, or to vibrate.