I went to a Buddhist meditation and talk the other night. One of our new neighbors is turning up quite regularly in our lives. We’ve been at two different grocery stores at the same time this past week. In line, as I chatted with the man behind the counter about meditation and yoga and my 1000 day practice, she mentioned her group meets weekly. I decided to go. Both Steve and I have want to get more involved in our community this year and this was a step in that direction.
I walked in two minutes late for the meditation. Apparently things start on time here in Ventura – unlike Los Angeles where everything (and everyone) is chronically 10 minutes behind. At the end of the half hour we stood for a few minutes, grabbed tea, then talked of suffering. I spoke of my experience with grief. Of how amazed I have been that despite the sadness, and in my worst moments, there has been a profound sense of okayness. There has been grief, but little suffering. I don’t know if that comes across in what I write but it’s there. My mind has stayed surprisingly quiet, even as my heart broke.
It was interesting to notice who in the group I was drawn to, whose energy attracted me. I’ve always been sensitive to this but I no longer question it the way I used to. I trust that if the answers never seem clear, there are reasons that some people draw me in more than others. I know, after years of wondering, that these people are my tribe – that you are my tribe. There are reasons we come together, we read each others’ words at the right moment, we risk writing – or speaking – from the heart when the mind says Shut up! Be afraid! Stay safe!
I watch people drawn into my daughter’s orbit. I notice who pulls me inexorably closer. I think of the butterfly’s wings. I remember the morning of September 11, 2001 when I felt such a deep sense of foreboding, I wondered if an earthquake was coming. We are all energy. We are all connected. Somehow. Some way. I am deeply committed to that belief. The polar bear mama who swam for 9 days to find ice? Who lost her cub in the process? I am connected to her. The child who was just told for the one hundredth time to stop shining so brightly (be quiet, sit down, do as your told, don’t inconvenience me with your needs) – I am connected to him. To you. I am connected to you. If you are here, if this email is in your inbox, if you have no idea I exist. We are fundamentally tied.
And I wish you peace. And love. And I wish for you, with my whole heart, that you feel the undeniably brilliant spark of who you are.