“Everything is equal. There is no this soul or that soul. There is only one. And that’s the last story. There is only one. And not even that. It doesn’t matter how you attempt to be disconnected, it’s not a possibility. Any thought you believe is an attempt to break the connection. But it’s only an attempt. It can’t be done. That’s why it feels so uncomfortable.”
Byron Katie on Self-Realization
Someone said we are the clay and God is the sculptor. If I am the rock and Source is the stream, this stone gives herself to the water.
As the winter snow melts and fills these mountain streams, I pause on my afternoon walk at each and listen. Like the sound of the bell calling me to breath and smile, I stand still at the water’s crossing, feel the sun on the bare skin of neck and face, the moist air rising up out of the snow and ice all around. The earth beneath my feet supports me, holding me up.
I was taught through osmosis that rough edges, hardness and porcupine quills bring power, respect and safety in the world of perceived predators. This deeply ingrained teaching isn’t working for me these days. Even the jagged rock in the stream is softened and made smooth by the gentle and steady nudge of passing water. The way of water, the flow of happenings in life; relationships, perceptions, the stories held up and undone shape me, soften the opening mind.
Einstein dedicated his life to answering one question, “Is the universe friendly?” More and more I am experiencing that it is. This friendly universe in its infinite kindness shapes me and builds me, whether I am on my knees or exalting up towards the sun.
Can I sit with the friend, who will not forgive me for my failings, my brother who prefers whiskey to water and allow myself to be the clay shaped by the Master Sculptor who sits in front of me? Allowing who and what is, trusting the way of it, I slowly unlock my mind from the grip of old beliefs and stories, meeting a friend, the one in front of me, for the first time, without a motive or agenda. That’s freedom. And, if I find that I am unable to sit with this one or that one without stress, I will look closer to home, the one I wake up with each morning and take on walks, and discover what’s left of my beliefs unquestioned and begin again. Again and again I begin by walking in the simple truth that everything happens for me, not to me.
Jen Deraspe, owner of Nurture Through Nature, is a holistic retreat facilitator and practitioner of The Work of Byron Katie. She lives off the grid on Pleasant Mountain in Denmark, Maine. www.ntnreats.com, (207) 452-2929.