When you change your language, your choice of words, your focus, you are able to articulate the ideas that arise in this article. As we change our view of our presence here from ‘it’s all about me’ in isolation and ‘things happen because of forces outside myself’ and ‘how can I get into heaven’, to ‘we are here all together on this global island, completely interconnected and interdependent’, we can begin to change the way we move about, change how we think, act with conviction on the premise of the article that reinforces everything is peacefulness, and in its place, it’s all okay.
When we focus on what we can get materialistically and fundamentally, dwell on how little the world seems to offer, how unfair and unrelenting the pressures and definitions of success are, how we are immobile and ineffective in the face of poverty, famine, and abuse, we search outside of our deepest heart and Big Mind and get caught up in political rhetoric and acts of unkindness and greed, big and small. We gather our arms in, harboring our hearts and clinging to the fear of scarceness.
I learned a new phrase recently, and have enjoyed applying it. Wabi-sabi. According to a reading I have done recently, when people of Japanese decent are asked the definition, they find words difficult to articulate this sense. While the western view of this is how to simplify your life and love what is imperfect in the world and yourself, I appreciate the non dualistic view of wabi-sabi…how the ordinary is really extraordinary. There is a rejoicing of heart and soul in the beetle crawling across the gravel, the bird song, the butterfly flitting, branches of deciduous trees in the winter, the difference in warmth between a sun baked road and the adjoining patch of grass, wrinkles and other signs of aging, the gentle wave action near the shore, and as the article describes-the indiscriminent nature of drenching rain-no favorites/victims whatsoever in the amount of soaking.
Scientists may point out that the physiological and biological reaction of the writer to this rain really was a connection with the uplifting nature of negative ions produced in the action of the rain. Negative ion activity counteracts the deleterious effects of our industrial evolutionary technological feats, using electromagnetic waves such as in video games, cell phones, microwaves ovens, as well as television which produce an overabundance of positive ions and which wreak havoc on our immune systems. The action of rain is not dissimilar to the negative ionic benefits of being near waterfalls, ocean waves, river currents, babbling creeks, or taking a walk in the deep forest, standing near an ancient tree, breathing deeply, or expanding our arms out in rushing wind, a gentle breeze, or even dropping the shoes and socks off the feet and walking barefoot on the earth. Interestingly, this scientific understanding does not diminish the powerful affects of when we connect with this magnificent body we have been blessed with during this lifetime. As Rumi suggests (paraphrased), look around…be present…none of this is outside you…Step within the orchard, and you step within the orchardist. Radiance Sutra #57… “with a steady gaze, melt into the field of space embracing form, and at once, be at one with the creator, who is looking through your eyes, loving creation.”
In answer to the question prompt, have you had an experience of coming in touch with ‘an all-pervading feeling that everything was okay with the world’?, I can say yes, and often. Each and every time I move about in nature, whether on an exotic beach, in my backyard, in a park, or teaching outdoors I experience this. Even quieting the space within my home, listening to slack key guitar music, reading, or listening to stories from indigenous people about Mother Earth, Father Sky, environmental identification, people expressing themselves in their native tongue, being fully present with another person and especially children, I am there. This is when I am present with grace and utterly unconditionally free in Love.
In conclusion, I wrote this at the beginning of June during a very sudden and unexpected intense rain event on the high school campus I teach at, witnessing this in response to a ‘walk in the rain’! “Question: When does ordinary become extraordinary? Answer: When living fully in the moment. Yesterday afternoon’s typical and ordinary June shower moving through about 3:15 became extraordinary on at least two counts. First, a miles-wide rain event seemed to defy gravity, and although falling straight down the drops instantly exploded up with both ‘feet’, again and again seeking to reach skyward, quickly turning the campus and our valley into swift rivers of liquid sunshine within a couple of heart beats. Second, outside the southwest door of New Main foyer, one of my students and her comrade abandoned ordinary high school conformity by immediately and repeatedly grounding with both feet and exploding up to reach skyward; squealing, whirling, and twirling within this drenching downpour, wide grins upon wet upturned faces and palms. Ordinary inconvenience morphed into unfettered extraordinary joy, letting go, and being fully present in the moment. A visual for the day before graduation, 2012 forever etched onto my heart. Extraordinary.”