Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Must Be Present to Win


The inbox was full to bursting. I rarely check this email address anymore - it is kept as a promise to future 'professional' writing projects. Few know of it and I like that it is anonymous. It is time I cleaned it out.

One of the things I routinely receive there is an email from Tricycle Magazine - a Buddhist publication which distributes 'daily dharma' messages. I scrolled through them, certain I would never be able to read them all, but one struck me. January 27th. The day of my grandfather's memorial service. Jack Kornfield wrote of a lesson that made itself known to him once in Las Vegas as he found himself staring at a sign posted on the wall. "Must be present to win."

Yeah. I've not been present. I've not taken the time to sit quietly and feel. I have stepped far enough into it to acknowledge the events themselves - my grandfather died, my father is dying. I have stood at the edge of that cave opening and seen the darkness, then turned and walked away as if that were enough.

Today I will plant my feet in the spongy soil just inside the opening of the cave and close my eyes to smell the moist organic scents it offers to me. I will reach out my hand to touch the rocky walls, stroke them with my fingertips and find the fissures, push my palms into the sharp, jutting edges. I will listen to the silence and let it fill me up. Then, and only then, will I take a step forward to see what I can find. I will not carry a torch of any kind. Any illumination of my path will have to come as a result of the gentle opening of my heart to what awaits me. I know that, should I find I need a moment to sit, I will find the perfect perch as it juts out from the wall. I trust that the floor will remain level so long as I need it to. The farther I venture into this black place the more I expect to find gifts. There will be ferns that grow from the solid stone walls, dripping the purest dew, pools of clear water, and light. I need only be present. Present to win.

6 comments:

Suzy said...

Some gorgeous writing is coming from your journey. Your friends will keep you level, just stay the course and know that you are in the present and you are winning....


Love you

Suzy

Deb said...

I've never read a better description of stepping up to fear and suffering. Please know that you will find fireflies along the way to offer comfort - those of us who love you and who have visited our own caves.

Adding my love to Suzy's . . . .

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Must be present to win. Yes. Thank you for that reminder.

BTW, you're a winner.

Jerri said...

Simply gorgeous, Kario.

Do you remember Ariadne? She's a mythical woman who gave Theseus a ball of red fleece she was spinning, which he trailed along behind him so he could find his way out of the Minotaur's labyrinth.

All that said, we who love you will be that fleece, a trail to follow when you've accomplished your mission in the case.

Miss Devylish said...

Food for thought.. seems to echo for me too. xo

Jess said...

Beautiful. Like that. I think I might just got sign up for those daily emails from Tricycle....

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