This piece is the first in a series called, “Changing Perspectives”. It has no up and no down, and can be shifted to have four orientations. The piece offers a focus to journey into meditation. The central thrust of the series seeks to provide that moment when a change in perspective releases rigid thought and frees the individual to create something new.
I have a friend, Ani, who is Buddhist. She is the Venerable Ani Drubgyudma (Venerable KongHu 空護法師) a Buddhist monk and teacher who resides in a hermitage at Bear Paw Monastery @ Flower Dance Temple in New York. We met at a retreat for women at Omega Institute years ago.
Ani’s website is here.
Ani practices wilderness retreat and teaches the buddha dharma. She and others established a forest mountain sanctuary, Flower Dance Temple, in order to practice Forest Mountain Retreat out of which Bear Paw Monastery arose. The practice is a beautiful earth based relationship with life.
We communicate on a regular basis from her forest to mine. We lead lives that have similarities and differences. We speak of the mundane and the cosmic. Her work there is profound and practical as is my work here in my forest. She lives in a hermitage of her design and has a remarkably low footprint on the ecology there. I live in log home with solar panels, a well, and am surrounded by the George Washington National Forest.
We have been dialoguing for some time. One of her most profound questions is , “What is it like to be human?” I have been exploring that question for years now. My experience of my human-ness changes as I change, spirals up and opens as I expand in consciousness. And always I am still human, in this body suit of miraculous organization and purpose no matter what my state of vibration.
I came here to experience what it is to be human. The day I realized that, was such a release and opening with the inevitable horrifying corollary… I asked for everything that is happening to me in this life.
Wow, I asked for this!
After that I wasn’t as comfortable being a victim of any circumstance in my life. My story of what it is to be human changed over time and I dropped a lot of the stories of drama and tragedy, self inflicted as well as being in the wrong place at the wrong time. As a sensitive, I have memories and impressions of being in other lives here which did not end well. I knew I had to get over that and see all human experience from a new perspective.
“What did I learn from that experience?” became my mantra.
So I have progressed along my path. With good friends like, Ani, I share my path as we listen to each other, laugh, and deeply resonate with the fabric of organic life here in this cosmos.
I am a sojourner with no destination. Life is the practice. Life is the journey.
walk the earth barefooted,
let the waters fall upon you,
seek the sun,
know what it is to be human
carol mackay mertz
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