BEYOND ALL ASKING

There was a boy who knew how to make others relax by his friendly talk, and once they relaxed, he’d ask his many questions. But he always went home alone. The next day he’d talk some more, and sooner or later, he would always get to questions of love, colorful questions that would stretch and spread and fall, just like leaves.

He lived this way for many years and the deep asking opened his heart. The space of his heart grew very wide and people would come and go like birds in the orchard of questions that was his heart. But once everyone left, he was alone with all he knew.

One day there was a vibrant being who would not enter the orchard of his questions. No matter how friendly he was, she wouldn’t answer him. She simply fluttered close and held him, then waited in the world. It took the boy a long time, for he was now covered with the bark of a man, but he wanted to be held, and so, uprooting himself, he left the shade of his own heart and began to live.

Source | Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening, pages 308-309

PONDER AND CONSIDER

If you try to understand love before being held, you will never feel compassion.

  • While breathing deeply, consider the ways you prepare yourself to be loved.
  • With each inbreath, lift up your prerequisites to being held.
  • With each outbreath, let go of all that is unnecessary.
  • Breathe slowly, and begin by allowing yourself to be held by the very air.

GOD’S HELP

A man was caught in a flood. First he was called and told to evacuate his home. He calmly refused, saying God would save him. The waters rushed the streets, climbing the foundations of the homes. When the streets were filled, a rescue team in a rubber raft called to him, and he again refused, saying God would save him. The power of the water deepened and the flood was crashing through the windows of his home. He was now perched on his roof. A helicopter came and he still refused, saying yet again that God would save him.

The flood did what floods do and he drowned. On the other side, he was angry and bitterly questioned God, “Why didn‘t You save me?! I kept my faith till the end!” And God, perplexed, replied, “I tried. I called and sent a raft and a helicopter. But you wouldn’t come.”

Source | Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening, pages 307-308

PONDER AND CONSIDER

Like the thought of love, God starts in everything unseeable, but comes to us plainly in the things of this world.

We don’t let go into trust until we’ve exhausted our egos. | Rob Lehman

  • Close your eyes and pray for one thing you need.
  • Breathe deeply until the prayer loses its words.
  • Open your eyes and enter your day listening to the things around you, for they carry what you need.