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Diary 3-16-15

March 16, 2015

Dear Diary –

Just back from an especially efficacious yoga, at the end of which much fell into place. I’m sure you remember that, about six months ago, at the end of my first yoga class, for 5-10 seconds I felt the sense that my body was the same body as the body of the universe.   When I thanked the teacher, Matt (who is in his late 70s), I mentioned what a good experience I had had, and he was happy to hear it.

This morning, as we came to the end of class, I was well alert and gathered and restful as we transitioned into savasana, my body simply being very much itself, and for a few moments Sherry spoke of our bodies widening and falling away, every limb, organ, bone, and cell dissolving (as of this “too too solid flesh,” methought), and then I thought, of course, of my body in the grave (although I intend to be cremated), dissolving (with help) into to its chemical oneness with, shall we say, undifferentiated being, again at one with the loam and with the evolving stars and galaxies, and I imagined it happening as I lay there, my imagination simultaneously going down into the earth and out to the universe, into which I would be chemically re-integrating (in my dis-embodying body), and as I continued to be centered on my breathing, it seemed to me to be the breathing of the universe, and at the same time I habitually was doing my meditation of hearing every sound that reached my ears, and I thought how all is now nothing, and just as I was forming the word nothing, Sherry struck the bell and everything fell into place.

I have long believed (having read the thought) that being is, in every instant, simultaneously both passing into and passing out of itself (thus we ourselves passing into and out of ourselves, and of being), and that Buddha’s pose of sitting with his arms out, hands open, palms up, is an illustration—as being enters into one palm while passing from the other. Now it seemed to me as though my breathing, and the breathing of the universe, is a form of that coming and going.

As you know by now, dear Diary, my sense of a deity, a divinity, has been that it is a question, both irrelevant and interesting; that if there is some such “divine” being, it is simply a larger being than we are able to know, of which we are a part; that its nature is irrelevant since we can’t know, at least at this stage of our evolution, and that anyway we don’t need to know; that all we need to know is what we can give our best attention to, being. But immediately after the bell sounded nothing and everything, I sensed that the universe’s breathing, everything’s passing into and out of our being, may be the breathing of such a larger being. Just lying there, it’s stomach rising and falling. Likely a smile on its face.

It remains a peaceful and satisfying sense of things. The simplest solution.

Of course I’ve often imagined, with Dickinson, awareness going somewhere out “beyond the dip of bell.” But now I think even more that there is nothing that is “beyond” that arcing dip and rise. We can let go of all, as she did in the moment of the poem, but as we go out there, we are not “alone.” Which, for me, does not lessen her “awe” (or Ferlinghetti’s “sense of wonder”), but does substantially lessen anxiety, disappointment, or dissatisfaction.

And, after all, as Whitman tells us, as we read her poem she too is not alone.

From → aesthetics, diary, health

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