it has been a long wait between posts, for many reasons which I cannot fully explain. I went to summer Retreat, which was an experience I cannot describe in any simple way other than to say I feel extremely blessed and grateful for this opportunity.
Then began the waiting for the first heartbeat message, which is what my computer told me it was doing when i could not go on-line; a comment which i contemplated again and again, rolling it around in my mind like hard candy on the tongue. In a way, we are always waiting for that message, the sound of our heartbeat, trying to interpret the confusion of our feelings. I have experienced that a lot in recent weeks. While on retreat my external world shifted, creating ripples of change both so huge and so infinitesimal I cannot even recognise them. Jetsunma moved from Sedona to Maryland, which for all of her students is a wake-up call, a time to re-align oursleves with her activity, intention. To re-commit to living with and for loving-kindness and compassion.
At first i did not think it would have such an immediate impact on me; having lived here the whole time I have been in the US, there were long stretches of time when I would not see Jetsunma. But as it became clear that the move will not be brief, and for other, internal, reasons, I fell into a deep hole with dark slippery sides, and so narrow and steep that I could no longer recognise the sliver of light at the top. Within the hole was a solitary pool of grief, in which I swam in seemingly endless circles.
I knew it would not last forever - nothing does - but it was a hard, painful time. I just sat with it, as with a sorrowful child whose world has been torn apart. Waiting to know that first heartbeat message, which is ever present but whose rhythm is sometimes hidden from our ears.
The internet access was finally fixed - naughty squirrels had chewed through the line - re-linking me with the world. But then blogger refused me access, no matter how hard i tried; hence now a new blog, a new beginning. It feels like a new beginning in so many ways. There is a lot of activity here, as we plan to accomplish Jetsunma's vast vision at the Valley. Embracing the potential, moving forward inside and out.
I have also been to MD for a sacred weekend of empowerments. While there another nun told me something Jetsunma said to her many years ago, " There is nothing you can do to make me love you more, there is nothing you can do to make me love you any less". I have held these words closely in the last weeks. It reminds me that no matter where Jetsunma may appear to be, the quality and essence of which she is display is present everywhere, always. I cannot be closer nor farther away. That nature of love is constant through time and space, like the sky which embraces the earth.
If only we all felt that way, towards each other, or neighbours, our 'foes'. Imagine if every one in the world started from a foundation of unconditional love, not the topsy-turvy, erratic way we relate, creating conflict and torment and division. Perhaps this is the first heartbeat message we all need to hear, not with our ears, but our lives.