Today on route to work (riding in the vanpool with seven other long-distance
commuters) I was listening on my mp3 player to a talk by the Dalai Lama on the
Heart Sutra. My mind wandered into some thoughts that arose during meeting for
worship at the Friends Meetinghouse on Sunday. These are some of the thoughts
that drifted through:
Stillness (or emptiness or balance) is the source of all things. Movement (or
content or imbalance) arises from stillness. The world of seperate things
arises from relative motion. Beauty, suffering and gladness are all produced by
the arising motion from the field of stillness.
The appearance of things is that the world is always in motion. Motion arises
from imbalance. For example: solar energy makes some parts of the atmosphere warmer,
creating an imbalance in pressure that creates wind, the engine of weather and
Using the same analogy (the living motion of the processes that support life on earth), water finds it’s level, seeks balance. Outside forces (e.g. the radiation produced by the sun or by the earth’s core) moves water from the bottom of the gravity well to the upper atmosphere where it eventually loses that energy, falling to the earth to make streams, waterfalls, rivers and springs on it’s journey back to the bottom of the gravity well. During this process water feeds and sustains life.
I have often thought about how it is imbalance/ imperfection that gives rise to
beauty. If things are in balance, there is no motion, no beauty and no
gladness. Through imbalance and the seeking of balance, come birth and death.
When the seeking ends, stillness reigns and emptiness replaces content. In
perfect balance motion does not arise and all things lose there seperateness.
Sometimes I feel like I’m in the middle of a stumble- like my imbalance is
propelling me forward into something unknown. I have the sensation of falling
into mystery. Sometimes it feels as though the world is a thin movie screen and
I am about to walk through it. It is as though balance, emptiness, stillness lies
just beyond the veil of appearances and any minute I will fall into it.
Sometimes when I close my eyes, I can feel the rush of time like a wind. I
sense that just behind that wind is timelessness, the flash of this moment in
perfect peace, the wholeness of myself and the world.