This is the great medicine.
To sit in silence and wait, watching one’s breath and mindful of thoughts is the great work of the soul’s freshness.
The ego is like a locked room. Everything in my room is just so. The right womb, the right family, the right culture, the right church, the right temperature, the right lighting, the right music or silence, the right foods, the right ideas, the right President, the right guru, the right doctrine, the right prayer book, the right liturgy, the right vocabulary, the right decisions in church councils, the right flattery of my work and ideas, the right Bishop, the right Rector, the right Senator, the right lighting, the right chair, the right charges, the right spirituality and finally, the right death and the right final enclosure – the right coffin – the one with white satin padding and pewter accessories … since gold is so gaudy….
We become so imprisoned in our small room of ego that we stop going outside where things are not to our liking; and soon we even seal the door so that outside smells do not impede our perfect little life.
What will happen when we die? What will happen when we find out that what we were so sure of is not True? At least, not the only True. What if bitchy liturgists find out that where the introit is placed is not important? What if cranky retreat-house leaders find out that Buddha or Jesus or the latest guru is not the only answer the only way? What if theologians find out that their beloved creed is just one of many realities or worse, that parts of it were designed to control, manipulate or indoctrinate?
Sitting for hours on end with this beautiful Buddha on this mountain top is not the way to live, but it is good for a week. I need to see an image of beauty that is four stories tall. Beautiful hands. Beautiful abdomen. Beautiful posture. Beautiful eyes. Not my God. But an icon to sitting still and breathing in the darkness and soot of the planet, then as slowly, breathing out the cool, fresh air of longing for all sentient beings’ wellness. Sure, bigots abound who scream “heretic” and start piling up the fagots for an entertaining burning. But are they right or just simply righteous? The more time I spend in other religious traditions, the more I love Christianity but even that Great Love need be held lightly.
The more I sit, the more I crave silence and sitting. And the more of it I get, the more sure I become that too many are too sure of too much.