This is a remarkable posting from our beloved friend and evolutionary college Shayla Wright of Wide Awake Heart.net.
It is a powerful invitation for us all to be loved into awake-ness by the roots of our Humanness.
It is a way forward we can all use so that unbounded Love, Grace and Liberated joy can prevail in our lives.
Thanks for Shayla and her courage to be called into greater aliveness, greater Love.
It’s one of life’s paradoxes, or jokes on us, that intense spiritual practice, which is aimed at dissolving our solid, separate sense of self, can often do the opposite. Our years of passionate and devoted practice can build up a powerful, hidden egoic identity. We might not notice this when things are going more or less our way. But when they don’t, when chaos and confusion and grief and heartbreak knock on our door, we can find it very difficult to maintain our spacious, radiant and accepting state of mind. We find ourselves longing for higher ground, scrambling to regain what appears to have been lost, instead of opening to what is here. We wonder how this could be happening to us, after so many years devoted to meditation, inquiry, healing, prayer, asana…Life begins to feel less and less like a blessing, more and more like an insult.
We feel the whole house of cards crashing down around us. We are left naked, awkward, vulnerable, lost. It usually doesn’t occur to us until later on, that this catastrophe is not what we think it is. It’s actually what love asks of us. To strip away, once again, everything we have built up on the spiritual path. To bow down in utter nakedness to what we do not know. To open our heart to all of the terrible uncertainty of life. This is the sound, the taste, the fragrance of love itself, unravelling and dissolving our armour and our carefully crafted defences.
I married a beautiful young man and woman on a Gulf Island last weekend. Both of them are living deeply creative lives, and both of them are strong Buddhist practitioners on the Vajrayana path, the path of tantra. The beauty and magic of the tantric path is that it emphasizes, over and over again, that the obstacles we encounter are the path itself. There is something in this view that set my heart on fire, and threw me, at a certain point in my life, into my own tantric practice, where I was relentlessly drawn into becoming more and more human. Far more human than I ever wanted to be, at the beginning of my spiritual path, when I was young and full of fiery dreams.
These two young practitioners wrote their own vows for their wedding ceremony. Here are two of them, which they spoke to each other in front of us all:
• I, Marley, choose you Jesse to be my beloved, my primary companion, and the cosmic interruption to my raging egomania.
• I, Jesse, choose you Marley to be my beloved, my primary companion, and the cosmic interruption to my unbounded narcissism.
Working with them both in the days leading up to the ceremony, these vows came alive in me, and were chewing me up from inside. The brilliant clean lucidity of the language kept breaking through my mind, like bolts of light. These vows would wake me up in the middle of the night, like a wild visitor banging on my door. Deep in my heart, I could feel the truth of these vows, crashing into me like waves.
“Listen,” the waves roared, “this is what love asks of you. Let love be a cosmic interruption to all the ways you try and hide, all the ways you hope to escape from being completely here. Let your partner, let your daughter, let your friends, let your colleagues, let your clients all be a part of this divine interruption. Stop trying to prevent it, as if it’s some kind of disaster you need to get insurance for. There’s another kind of life, full of courage, full of light, that only emerges when this one is well and truly interrupted.”
And so I wait here, as this other life, which I do not yet know, emerges,
so it can teach me
how to invent
my own disappearance
so it can lie down at the end
and show me,
even against my will,
how to undo myself,
how to surpass myself:
how to find
– David Whyte
with love and gratitude to Marley and Jesse.