Monday, September 16: The Great River of Being

euphoria

This week’s class shook up my long-time format of dharma talk at the beginning and silent meditation at the end. This change was not intended. I was simply going with the flow of the śaktī. While the notion of going with the flow has become a cliche, still, there’s a lot of truth to it. Attending to the present moment is always more interesting than being stuck in past or future whatever. Of course we have to be willing to risk leaving the known. And everything that encompasses.  Easier said than done and why practice practice practice is essential…

Here’s the opening dharana for this class. Which runs around 7 minutes and uses the metaphor of river to inspire silent meditation.

The sound quality on this week’s recording of class chanting Om Namah Shivaya is not great. Instead of posting that, I thought I’d make a small recording of me chanting solo. This will be easier on your ears.

Were I to give this week’s dharma talk a title, I’d call it “Operating Instructions for Consciousness.” It runs around 15 minutes, explores ways of working with thought and emotion, and reaffirms why chanting is a profound vehicle for awakening. This description makes it all sound rather dry and predictable. Which, heaven forbid, it most assuredly is not! If you hear bells jingling, you’re not imagining it. That’s my cat coming into the room…

I’ve recently discovered the poetry of Lorri Neilson Glenn. I did not read this poem at class but am moved to end this post with a short excerpt:

….
Listen,
nothing lasts. Quiet can be stolen like your bag
in the street. You will soon be awake in all the wrong places,
your words snatched out of time. Oblivion is a wise
old teacher: there is no try. It’s all right. You didn’t get it
until this moment, did you? Wake every chance you can, join
the chorus, praise the wild. Carry, light…

from Wild, by Lorri Neilson Glenn, from her collection, Lost Gospels, published by Brick Books, 2010.

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