TOWARDS THE SEASON OF HARVESTS: 2021
In the northern hemisphere we will soon be entering a quarter of harvests and waning light, starting with Lughnasadh/Lammas. In the south there will be the energy of rising light and growth. In the manner of the yin/yang symbol. a taste of that energy is present here too. As I approach Lughnasadh/Lammas this year, I am living largely day-at-a-time, and sense only the faintest outlines of what might be coming into my life. I intuit change, but not its nature, scale. or specific form.
So I look to harvesting possibilities that are within my power. I wrote recently that Druidry and the Eckhart Tolle Community are currently my key points spiritual reference. This invites a new synthesis and integration of spiritual practice and understanding. Druidry remains primary. It is the container. But there are two areas in which the Tolle work has strongly influenced me.
The first is through reframing my understanding of meditation. Instead of being a specialist activity, it has become the gateway to living from what Tolle calls ‘stillness’, ‘presence’ and the ‘Deep I’. These simple terms are pointers to a way of experiencing the world that cannot be accurately languaged but is easy to recognise if we are open to it. Meditation, here, is a state of openness and availability. It does not require extended time or any specific form.
I still value formal daily practice. It is a way of keeping fit in this domain. But while, in the past, I have seen meditation as a specific activity, I now see that anything can be a meditation if it is a gateway to stillness, presence, or the Deep I. Tolle tells a story about his early days as a teacher, when he would sometimes make presentations to the Theosophical Society in London. The first time he showed up with a set of notes virtually amounting to a script. His eyes were frequently on it and although he was received respectfully, many of his listeners’ eyes were glazing over. The next time he abandoned this approach, faced his listeners and simply waited, open and trusting, for the words to come. They did. He connected. Energy levels in the room were high, and the presentation was successful.
I’ve been taught versions of this lesson a number of times in my life, but I clearly needed to hear it again with a new and different language. For my second Tolle influence concerns ‘awen’. As a Druid I might want to use ‘awen’ in the context of Tolle’s story. But it doesn’t feel right. I love the awen chant and the awen symbol. I love the alchemy of the Hanes Taliesin and the way it points to possibilities of human transformation. But it belongs in a world that is not my own, that of Brythonic bardistry and seership. I feel more connected to my own experience when I use Eckhart Tolle’s language. It holds more possibilities for me. I do not count myself as among the awenyddion. But I can speak from stillness. I can speak from the Deep I.
There are numerous ways to meditate and they may change as we progress.
As a young man, I sat cross-legged on a cushion in a dark room, with a candle softly glowing, half-closed my eyes, and quietly chanted Om.
Gradually my practice changed. Today I can meditate almost anywhere, any time, with eyes wide open. Light, sounds and physical images are closed out.
During my daily walk I look at the tops of trees, where they meet the sky. Every tree is different on Earth, yet they share the same oneness above them.
What is effective for one person may not work for another. Also, our ability to meditate can vary from day to day. I can only speak from my personal experience. not for other people.
There are two exceptions: Crossing a street or driving a car. If you are meditating you might have an accident. The same is true for people who use their cell phones.
Thanks for these thoughts Ron. I like your approach to meditation. I agree also about crossing the street and driving a car!
I’m grateful for the insight you provide into Tolle, as this jaded heart and mind has long since stopped paying attention to the spiritually inclined, as it’s been difficult for decades to decipher the sincere from the sales people.
A formal “sitter” in the Dharmic traditions, damaged knees and a dislike for chairs gently forced me to transform view and application more and more into meditation in action nearly 100% of the time, as Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s best book (imo) on the subject was titled.
It’s been a gradual transformation of a nearly forty year practice into something that’s no longer name or identity, though “I” still wants to label and direct it.
I enjoy your contemplations on Druidry and the awareness and I thank you for helping me to see Eckhart in a better light.
Thanks for these comments Thomas. Feeling the resonance of “I” still wants to name and direct it. With Eckhart, I have had to distinguish the usefulness of the core teachings, for which I’m grateful, and the marketing operation that surrounds them.
Hello Thomas. I’m sorry I missed replying to you when you first wrote. I enjoyed the comment, particularly your description of a long-term practice moving away from name and identity, even though ‘I’ still wants to name and direct it.
No worries. I often forget about notifications for comments on the blogs followed. 🤦🏼♂️😉🌿
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