E-Newsletter

April, 2020

Happy Easter, and a Time of Spiritual Angst and Joy

HAPPY EASTER!!!

I have been reviewing a Blog I have kept for about 12 years. (gopitamom.wordpress.com)

I found a piece I particularly love, written 9 years ago, on Easter. It is titled: “Chrissy, Sushi, Easter, and, of course, God.” I have attached it. What moved me was the last line:

“It is a homecoming.”

In the course of spiritual practice it is not uncommon to find oneself in the throes of a dark night of the soul, a time of existential angst and terror, certain there will be no recompense this time; no comfort; no light at the end of the tunnel.

Each time I find myself in these places of darkness I doubt the possibility of an infinite dawn.

My last “episode” found me brailling through this familiar and harsh shadow play. Yet something was different this time. As I was given time and space after I broke my hip, it became evident that all guilt, anger, shame, doubt and distrust were manifestations of unresolved grief, both personal and universal.

In the past, each time I had come close to completing the process of resolving some sort of personal grief, I had scurried away, unable to stand in front of the fire any longer than necessary. I had wrestled with the fire long enough, I thought, but had been unable to withstand the agony of the space Thomas Merton speaks of when he says, “true prayer is learned when prayer has become impossible and the heart has turned to stone.”

The gift of this time now; our collective quarantine, has allowed the dark night to persist. And when the dark night persists, it is always 3:00 a.m. Day and night, it is always 3:00 a.m. Yet this time, 3:00 a.m. does not seem terrifying, but enlightening.

Realizing the spiritual journey is again here/ now; nowhere to run or hide, a time to recalibrate, journey within, investigate everything - the warp and woof of even emptiness itself - then, then, the work begins. Then, then, some opening is made into the abyss of confusion and chaos.

Hearing deeper and deeper and deeper my teacher telling me to love myself. Hearing truer and truer the words of the Buddha: “You can look the whole world over and never find anyone more deserving of love than yourself.”

Understanding the quiet now, the beautiful time of self-reflection, and meeting with mercy and awareness, rather than continued self-repression, those parts of myself, lovely and otherwise.

It is a homecoming. It is a resurrection. It is truly coming Home.

Happy Easter. Love,

Gopita

Chrissy, Sushi, and Easter – and, of Course, God

Time cannot intrude into eternity.  The moments experienced as “time standing still” are moments outside of time, outside the realm of temporality, outside the realm of what we call human experience.

I saw her lips moving.  I saw her eyes blazing forth with light.  I refer often to her eyes as “snapping”.  They were snapping eyes, sharp and bright, snapping like a turtle, bright and intense and shiny, snapping shut and opening like a box of treasure.  I could see the aura and spectrum of light around her head, just like when she was a baby, snuffling and snarfling next to me in her papoose, the  swaddling clothes taught me by the nurse at Lenox Hill Hospital when they dressed my daughter for the taxi ride home.
I could not speak.  I deliberately allowed what some could call the ‘mind’ to close against the experience so that I was only Heart.  The center of my chest began to grow warm and to swell.  I experienced a warmth in my throat which grew steadily from my chest through my throat to my face and through the top of my head, all the while aware that I experienced No Mind, No Body, No Being.
She was speaking.  She was speaking rapidly, her mouth forming sounds and her eyes snapping.  How could she not see or experience the waves and swells of indigo and blue and green coming toward “her” from “me?”

I have had this kind of experience several times. Once I knew that if I allowed the experience to continue I could cause what I called “myself” to combust – to burst into flames.  The other time I had the experience James Wright speaks of in his poem “A Blessing”.  He says:  “Suddenly I realized, if I stepped out of my body, I would break into blossom.”  This time, I was carried away on a wave of inexorable love which lasted beyond what we call “time.”

So, I just sat.  I sat for one lifetime – or was it two? – Or twelve? – And listened.  I listened with all my being.  I listened with all my love.  I swelled with love until I burst open and the flame that was my heart consumed us both and I heard the words without hearing one word at all.  And I saw the eyes snapping open and shut, without moving at all.  I saw the aura around her head fill the entire room while she kept completely still, unaware of her own magnificence.

I knew – and have known – that the nature of God – of all of us, is Love.  Love extends. It extends and extends and extends and then extends some more.

I am very grateful to have been given this experience, unbidden, in a Sushi restaurant in Los Angeles, on Easter Sunday, with my 22 year old daughter.  I am filled with gratitude beyond reckoning.  We carry on in the dream because, I think, we do get these experiences, sometimes vast, sometimes tiny, and we are never sure when and if they will come.  All of it, all of the disappointments, the tiny troubles, the so called ‘problems’, are consumed and swallowed in this moment in eternity, when all is well, and when all is known.
In the wholeness of the experience described above, everyone was present whom I have ever loved – not as bodies, not as separate beings, but in my awareness as perfect oneness.  Nothing and no one was left out.  My parents, my friends, every relative, ‘enemy’, lover, every animal I had ever cared for and loved, were all there, for we were one.
I truly understand that love extends through eternity.  It is totally unlimited, and the joy of this recognition exceeds every expectation I have had in the past.  In the all-encompassing wonder of God there is never a need to think, only to be love, only to be what one really is.

After this timeless experience, I was once again sitting on the banquette in the restaurant, seemingly as a body, sated with food.  And each day that has passed since Easter has been more than a resurrection of Spirit, it has been recognition of this Love, this ease and serenity and heart swelling, this ability to forgive and melt all karmas in the dream.

It has been a Homecoming.