How To Be Alone

The sun burns your skin and you are alone. Turn toward the mountain and you are alone. Turn toward the sea and you are alone. Say, this being alone is me.

Watch the seagull fly high in the sky. In that flight, remember the story of a man. Think about fear and courage and making mistakes. Think about how each lesson washes over you like waves. Think about how the salt heals your feet and how to breathe.

In the afternoon, don’t think about morning. Let the past roll off your shoulder. There’s no need to hold on to every memory. Each moment should pass gently. Those we carry in a box are cumbersome and heavy. When we are in a state of love, moments come and go naturally and intensely.

Learning to be alone doesn’t mean you don’t love deeply. It means that at the moment, you have nothing more to be. It means that life can be your little secret. It means that you alone hold the key.

The tears still come; it’s tenderness and life. It’s love and compassion on your face. It’s surrender in your eyes. It’s longing and frustration. When your tears fall with someone, there is love.

When a man plays saxophone on the street, stop and love him before leaving.

Creating Oasis

In the center of loud, bustling Madrid, I meditate on the meaning of oasis. I wonder how to find a peaceful spring in the middle of all this noise. I wonder if I’m capable enough to focus, to direct my antennae to receive whatever signal arises in the midst of so much change and static electricity.

There is a gut instinct to retreat.

I bought an expresso pot and discovered that with an induction stove top, the pot is heated by a magnetic field. There was curiosity at first about the materials I’d been given. Then, impatience when the pot didn’t brew correctly. My body yearned for a simple cup of coffee. My heart yearned for fire, pure and simple flames, the kind you can see. But nothing is simple now. Everything is new. I pause for a moment and feel silly. Then, I’m moved into a state of gratitude. I’m grateful for having any material at all and for having these kind of problems. Extravagant problems.

I’m in the center of the loud, bustling city of Madrid and I feel like an orphan child and the universe is providing me with a safe haven. I’m a child but when I look in the mirror I’m old. And I’m aware. I’m aware that I’m blessed and responsible. I know there are adult children orphans like me who are struggling, tired, thirsty. I don’t feel guilty. I feel curious about what I am here to do.

I move forward tinkering with my new coffee pot and magnetic field stove wondering about what it means to create an Oasis, a fertile space, a water spring in the middle of nowhere. Anywhere.

I lower the heat and wait. Gradually, the expresso streams out without a hitch. It’s delicious.

How Mind Works, How Love Works

My mind is empty and there is emptiness today. It’s one big void. I find pleasure in this emptiness because it’s rare and refreshing. Yet, I also feel sadness. Who am I and where am I going? So, I float wondering.

An empty mind is unusual. Often, the mind is filled up with words and images. That is the mind on the ordinary day. The world will stimulate the mind to keep working labeling everything. That’s how we try to make sense of things. This is the mind without meditation.

When the mind is filled with words and images life feels eventful and entertaining. It’s like having a movie on hand every day. It goes on by itself like an automatic tape. It can be a romance one day or a tragedy. I don’t like horror movies but sometimes the mind can be that terrifying. It can fill up with horrible words and ugly images and I’m afraid. Have you ever had the experience of being trapped in a horror movie? Most of us prefer a good sexy romance but even that can go astray when we fixate, doubt love or hallucinate.

Osho says that if you’re really in love then presence is felt and language is not. So when two lovers are in an intimate relationship, they become silent. He says when love is living, words are not because the very existence of love is so overwhelming, so penetrating, that the barrier is crossed, the barrier of language and words. Then he goes on to say that meditation is like that, it’s a love relationship with total existence, with all that surrounds you and when you are in this love situation, you are silent, the mind is still.

I have experienced love in this deep way with another human being, like a total penetration that goes beyond words and language. I’ve also felt something akin to this in meditation but its brief and there’s something different about it. I wonder if I will experience this overwhelming sense of love with existence more so over time.

I think maybe there’s a reason we focus our time and energy on love with other human beings. Maybe it’s because it seems to last longer. There’s also the possibility of love making and that’s a beautiful thing! Making love is the ultimate fusion. It’s profound depth, loving kindness and silence together penetrating the physical form. Maybe this is why we come to earth and reside in a human body to make love.

I’m not suggesting we don’t experience love in aloneness and meditation. I’m just thinking that perhaps we’re here precisely for the work of transmuting spiritual experience into the material world through our physical form, with less mind and fewer words.