March 21 – To Habor or Release – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

“How can you follow the course of your life if you do not let it flow?”  Lao-Tzu

The pollen collects until the rain washes away whatever has not been taken as seed. The moss forms on stumps and rocks until the feet of animals wear it off. The leaves that cover the path disintegrate in time to show those lost, their way.

It is the same with us. Our dreams collect like pollen until the sweat and tears of our living them washes away whatever has not become possible. Our soft gnarly clumps of attachment grow out of our stone – joy and sorrow alike, until what is food is eaten and what is not is worn away. Like fallen leaves, our memories cover our path until they are remembered out of existence, setting us free.

Often the pain of resisting makes us rust like iron, and in order to re-enter the flow of live, we need to be scraped back to our original surface. Our feelings, if not released, bread the heart with their grit. Like windows filmed by weather, we wait on loving hands to be rubbed clear. It is inevitable. Experience covers us over, and the expressive journey lets us come clean to the table of light. Again.

All things in existence participate in this involuntary cycle. For human beings, the process of living stains us repeatedly with the grit of being here, with heartache and disappointment and the pointedness of being human, which can sicken us if harboured or make us whole if released. Again and again, we, more than any other life form, have this majestic and burdensome power to harbour or release the impact of our experience.

Humbly, we are asked to keep the flow real between what is taken in and what is let out. We have only to breath to remember our place as a living inlet. Experience in, feelings out.  Surprise and challenge in, heartache and joy out.  In a constant tide, life rushes in and in constant release, we must let it all run back off.  For this is how the earth was made magnificent by the sea and how humankind is carved upright, again and again, by the ocean of spirit that sets us free.

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