Pilgrimage Revisited -One

THIS POST WAS FIRST PUBLISHED MAY 2011.
There are several more in the series.

windwatersky1.jpg
Wind, water, sky – together.
Back in 2005 when I was about to fly to East Asia on Pilgrimage I wrote a poem on a scrap of paper while out walking in Vancouver, Canada. The underlying message behind what I wrote was let go and trust – continuously. When in mental, physical, emotional extremity, as I was then, basic teachings take on a renewed meaning, and urgency. During the trip, my advice to myself proved in practical every-day ways to be both a life saver and a very good thing! Circumstances and conditions repeatedly came together in near-miraculous ways and we, my travelling companion the late Iain Robinson and I, were ushered into places and meeting people it would not have been possible to plan for in advance. Travel stress was a constant and I guess trust/faith must have been there.

Over the next few days I’ll be revisiting and reflecting upon my poem with the spotlight shining on what it means in practical terms to let go. I speak of rising up in the poem implying a ‘place’ from which one moves. Sitting down perhaps? The keystone and well-spring of pilgrimage, daily living, is sitting still in the midst of it all. Meditation is present in the midst of living out our day, even within the seeming chaos most of us experience. One doesn’t need to travel or otherwise enter stressful circumstances to prove this true. Opportunities arise quite naturally!

Formal meditation is practised in subdued lighting with the emphasis of turning one’s attention inwards. Into the darkened hall of one’s mind/body. Sitting still, allowing the senses to still, we enter into metaphorical darkness of unknowing by allowing the known to fade. This is, however, illuminated darkness, bright aliveness of body and mind rises naturally – given half a chance. So, within compassion/acceptance for all that comes and goes, letting go and trusting is…about how it is.

The habit is to follow the arising and passing. To entertain, wine and dine, thoughts, sensations, emotions, bright ideas, memories etc. It is enough to notice the arising and passing, simply noticing is the letting go. Noticing over and over again, the known fades in importance.

BTW. Iain didn’t get due credit for a number of the early posts from Japan which he wrote. Thank you, Iain, and thank you for making the trip possible.

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