Not only do we live in a living universe, but the living universe lives within us.
— Duane Elgin
photo by Margit Bantowsky
by Margit Bantowsky
Take root in your grief.
Root yourself way down, all the way down,
and further still.
All that shatters becomes soul-gold.
It's what you came here for:
to feel and know and burn
in the divine devastation.
Angels fall from Heaven to Earth
not so they can just turn around
and escape upward again,
but rather to revel in darkness and density.
So root deeper into the mud,
the fecund rot, and the cold, seeping
aquifer beneath bedrock
carrying the current of our personal
and collective evolution.
Wrestle and roll in that muddy, bloody wallow
and let yourself love
the impossibly glorious mess of it.
Let weeds cultivate chaos in your hair.
Root yourself in the shattering imperfections
and unbelievable horrors.
Let your dress become soaked with blood,
and notice the dagger in your own hand.
Nothing human is alien to you.
Take root in these humbling lessons,
let them ferment and dissolve any illusions
you might still have about superiority.
Fall to the ground, and stay down,
until mercy becomes the only word
left on your lips,
until the only commitment you can make
is to stop causing harm.
There's no escape, only rolling up your sleeves.
Only tending the wounded,
like a battlefield nurse
or a chaplain on death row.
Bear witness to the deep and wide
underbelly of humanity.
Become a sanctuary
for Truth and Reality.
Make remorse possible by
withholding judgment and offering
See yourself in each and every person
and extend to them the healing generosity
you yourself long for.
Not being afraid of the dark
allows you to serve the light.
Note 1: The first line comes from poet Alfred LaMotte
Note 2: Around 2,000 years ago the Roman-African playwright, Terence, wrote "I am human, and I think nothing human is alien to me."
photo by Margit Bantowsky
In the Trillium Awakening path, greenlighting is the practice of allowing ourselves to be exactly as we are in the moment. Another way of saying it is “being with what is.” This practice sounds so simple – and it is – and yet we generally spend much of our waking hours resisting what is, both inside and outside of us. Resistance takes a lot of energy, energy which could be available for other things such as awakening to who and what we really are!
After nearly 8 years of “awakened life,” I’m finding that the continuing process of awakening is starting to assert a more fierce imperative, and that the greenlighting practice of “Being with what is” is feeling inadequately superficial. Life seems to be insisting that I drop into an even deeper, more visceral surrender down and into “what is” – within myself, and also in the world – and encountering ever more subtle, sub-conscious ways my ego resists the truth. Sometimes this can feel quite shattering to my self-image and my worldview.
Paradoxically, the more we’re shattered open into undefended encounter with reality, the more we’re able to respond to life with compassion, courage, curiosity, and creativity – the cornerstones of awakened action!
In this video we explore the following questions. [Have a pen and paper handy to engage the journaling questions (at 12:03 min), and enjoy going deeper in the guided meditation (at 22:15.min)]
Margit Bantowksy, MA, is an artist, coach, teacher and facilitator.