Let your eye rest on the water. Look deeply at the ripples. See what comes....
It's a gift from stratofrog. And it goosetails, for me, with an experience from long ago. When I stood in the Ganges with Gandhi. Well, not really. But it was as Real as anything could be - when I experienced it. I learned much wisdom. In a very short span. It occurred at a monastery over 30 years ago. It was a great blessing. And this photo, more than anything, provides the entry into that experience.
The monks had invited friends to join them at a workshop. I knew them all, except for the presenter. Part of the workshop involved making a list of spiritual stepping stones and wisdom people. Then we chose one wisdom person with whom to have a conversation - an inner journey down a spiritual well to a place of meeting. I closed my eyes, allowed myself to go down the inner well - mine was round, with stones all the way down, mossy in places, damp, cool, pleasant. Immediately I found myself in the Ganges. I now write my exact words of that experience, speaking to Gandhi:
I don't know quite how to begin. I will fold my hands and bow to you - Gandiji.... It's very peaceful here - even though we are surrounded by others purifying themselves - washing together in the water. I am so aware of the multitudes in this river. .. And yet we are peacefully alone too. I have time to talk to you and you are gracious enough to share this time with me. Pardon me, if I say one thing more about our surroundings. I see now that is it so appropriate to put the bodies of the dead into the river along with the rest of us who bathe here. But I realize as I say this too that you are supposed to be dead and I am supposed to be alive. Yet we are here bathing together. Somehow - in a way I cannot understand - everyone is in this river.
Yes, my daughter. You yourself have said so.
................. long pause..............
Why is it that I am unable to speak more to you?
Silence together, my daughter.
I didn't know I could go down and find silence together.
On earth, I fasted and kept silence one day a week. Here we can do so always.... But we can share as often as you like.
Yes, I see that now. We're all here together. I'm so glad to be home. My tears become part of this river too. Drops of water which reflect. But I can only see the reflections when they've fallen. ~ But then they're gone ~ part of the river now.
Just so, my daughter.
You say so little, Gandhi. You have the gift of listening. Do you think I will ever have it too.
"In the stillness is the dancing"
You yourself have said it. Follow my example.
I am afraid I may have missed my opportunity. I had so much I wanted to say - like before you make a long distance call - but when you finally hear the voice - that's all you wanted to hear - just the voice, the comforting feeling of hearing the voice and remaining in its presence.
Now here's the thing. Although I own a book, whose title rang in my mind, I knew the experience really referenced Eliot's words. (I had purchased the book - for its title, you see.) But there's more. When I searched, just now, for a link to it, I found another book with almost the same title - a biography I didn't know existed. So, why, you might ask, have I just linked to a biography I have never read? Because it concerns a man I was yet to meet - at the same monastery - a man whose impact on me (and others) relates to the title of this blog. A blog yet to be born. A man yet to die. A book yet to be written. A profession I was yet to train for - which had never even entered my mind. And yet... all that meaning was contained in my experience. That. And more, of course.
As TS Eliot writes:
Time present and time pastThis blog, like life, is a journey. We are on it together....
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.