April 2, 2005

Rogue Prayer

This rainy morning, the low-pressure system, wet, heavy, weighing on my head, cold, calls forth a blissful fire. I came across a line from "Sailing to Byzantium" by W.B. Yeats:

Consume my heart away;
sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is,...

And the following from "Slouching Towards Bethlehem."

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand...

And here are some words of rogue prayer that came up, transforming grey into rejoicing, which I share with you. Just prayerful rejoicing:

How did you find yourself here, turning and turning in an endless sky of alienation? How did you get so out of touch with your heart, so lost, so dead, unable to see an emerald bird or hear the music of his song, unable to feel the light of a sunset or lose yourself and the fragrance of divine love? Why are you stained with such anxiety and grief? Why are things constantly falling apart, centers spiraling downward in want and fear, in chaos swirling? What is this religious anarchy loosed upon the world, this blood dimmed-tide everywhere drowning innocence?

You recall a time when you were a small child you came across a circle in the grass. You brought a rich and vivid child's imagination to the moment. In that circle you felt the freshness of night, and you felt yourself disappear leaving only a clearing flooded with moonlight. With awe and wonder there appeared tiny moving sparkles on the grass, tiny glittering clusters of light. You stood astounded, marveling at these glimmerings shapes, little beings of light dancing in a circle. Some kind of mysterious celebration was happening and you had no idea of what was going on. It was pure enchantment. At first you were afraid, but there seemed to be no threat at all. These little beings did not mind at all that you were watching them rejoice. Their hearts seemed so full of happiness that nothing else mattered but the dance. And you recall the feelings of ecstatic celebration, of gentleness and peace, the sweet fragrance of love; the graceful presence, so loose and natural, so light and easy. Who had blessed you with this luminous vision? Where did such bliss and contentment come from? How is it that you were allowed entry into this ceremony of innocence?

Through this magic circle in the grass you realized it is possible to experience the blissful revelation again. It is no longer just "at hand." It is here now, circles within circles, within you -- already, always and everywhere. The layers of the onion fall away, one after the other, and when the last layer drops there is nothing there, no self, no identity. The burden of mind, of identification, of knowledge has fallen away, and once again you have become an innocent child, an innocence and openness with no barriers to keep existence from pouring into you. The burden of rationality has been dropped, it no longer dominates, it has been relegated from foreground to background. Again you find yourself moving within that magic circle of so long ago, drowning in an ever-present ceremony of innocence. And with an open, willing and receptive trust you let go and give yourself over to this drowning, to this dance, to this celebration, this abundant rejoicing. That's what it is, an abundance, an unimaginable treasure within that turns a child's heart into that of a universal monarch. This abundance transforms the hearts of ordinary humans into the luminous presence of divine kings and queens. With no kingdom and no subjects, notice how these sovereigns rejoice! They are living their revelation moment to moment. Look how they again collect flowers in the garden, enchanted by the fragrance, the richness of color and form; how they chase butterflies, how their gaze drifts toward the end of the rainbow, finding showers of gold. Look how they marvel silently at the stars; notice how complete and self-contained they are collecting seashells on the beach, or utterly absorbed in the building of a sand castle; notice the spontaneity, the blissful absorption in just this... The whole existence around them has become a playground, a place of wonder and awe, of delight, filled with the sweet vibration of love. Once again they are dancing under the moonlight in a magic circle on the grass. They have entered the mystery, with trust and unbounded innocence they have rediscovered the vast freedom of their hearts, the freedom inherent in their true nature. Their knowledge has taken its rightful place as servant, and their heart has taken its proper place as master. They have regained their sense of wonder, of mystery, of unknowing.

Post by Akilesh


Meredith said...

Who is this mystic
that walks here?
Who is this adult child,
flooded with moonlight?

Flickering Stars,
seashells, and sandcastles
built with delight ~
You are dancing
in the magic circle,
entering the mystery...
Discovering vast freedom
within your very own heart.

In laughter,
in bliss...

Jon said...

Akilesh, thanks for your beautiful advice about coming as a child.