Presence, Recognition, and Encounter


Yesterday, I wrote about developing communities of spirit while living within the bounds of empire, about challenging the power that empire wields–not by running to safety or to a noiseless desert, but by tending our own inner gardens, building our own inner castles and safe havens, and reaching out to each other to support and strengthen each other in spiritual solidarity.

I have been thinking about communities of spirit in the last day, about how this community is always available in some form. I believe that everyone has the capacity for spiritual depth and inner reflection. The trick is to recognize it in each other, to call it forth in our interactions.

Each encounter with another person is a chance to make that deeper human spirit connection.  So often I just glance off the sides, live alone in my own bubble, think only in terms of getting my tasks done. You know those people who really look you in the eye? Not intrusively or forcefully, but openly and honestly. How you want to smile or nod.  How that thing happens in your brain–perhaps not even consciously–where this person clicks with you, and you know you are of the same tribe? I think that moment is when spirit calls to spirit, when we recognize each other, and we are drawn to being our best and most honest selves. I want to practice and learn to be that person, Present in each encounter, not intrusively, but openly.

Let’s practice the art of Presence and Recognition these days, shall we? When we’re with people, let’s keep the people-moment, the Encounter, at the center, and let the tasks be secondary to our experiences. Let’s call forth the spirit in each other. It’s not that every encounter has to become a deep conversation, but that that depth can be achieved even in a glance of recognition, a smile, a word. We’re the same thing, you and I. We belong in the same tribe. We have vastly different and separate experiences, but we’re parts of the same organism, and we can recognize our connection in the moments that we encounter each other.

Gratitude List:
1. The humming sound of the hummingbird.  I know that I have heard the sound before, but it is always a surprise.  “Like a rubberband thrumming,” I said.  “I think it sounds like Fred purring,” said a boy.  Of course it does.
2. Cool morning.  Cool, cool, comfortable cool.
3. Preparations. Getting ready for school.  Like tilling the soil for a field, imagining the way the small plants will begin to grow, how the green will deepen, the stems will harden, the shoots will dive upward into sky, the small hard buds will form and the flowers burst forth.  How the flowers will fade but the fruit will grow, filling out and finding its color, ripening in the sun.  Now is the time to prepare the rows, to look to the health of the soil and seed, so that the plant may have the greatest chance to grow and thrive.
4. Dark of the moon.  It’s so dark without the moon, especially when the night is hazy. (I tried to do a tree pose last night out in the darkness, and I could not find my balance–in the darkness I simply could not balance. I wonder what that is about?) How our own hearts echo the shifts in the cosmos, ready for the time of waxing to fullness.
5. Resolve. Will. Determination.

May we walk in Beauty!


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