I am in awe of affinity. I find the simpatico that arises when it's there remarkable. And I'm reminded that it's true what they say: we can recognize a true friend at first meeting, know and be known by them better in the briefest of moments than others might know us in a lifetime. Ditto a resonant place.
In October 2007, I met a musician on Cape Cod. I had the pleasure of hearing her play and sing, then the added pleasure and privilege of sharing a table with she and her partner after her gig. Love's Freeway came up in conversation somehow or another, and the next thing I knew we meeting again the next day--my birthday, as it happened--and exchanging our labors of Love: my book for her CDs. We didn't speak much about it, but I think it was clear to each of us that we'd met a kindred spirit. She hailed from Tucson these days, a place I new and loved, and back to Tucson she went after our farewell.
Fast forward four years. Thanks to this column, and the occasional Facebook note over that time, we've stayed in touch. So when the desert started calling my name last fall, whispering Come, come in my ear, I turned my attention to Tucson. I had "business" in that desert and I knew it. And come October, as a birthday gift to myself, I booked a ticket. I dashed off an email to Amber to let her know I was coming, suggesting: "...perhaps we can get together?
I was hardly prepared for the welcome that followed--from that first email exchange, to our parting hug, my friend offered love after love: from an airport greeting and a fine bottle of red, to her food, her car, her museum pass, her guest room (which involved moving in a bed and setting up said guest room to accommodate me), her music, and endless tips and thoughtfulness. "Call me, ANYTIME!"
I don't think I have ever received such a warm, such a heartful welcome, let alone by someone with whom I'd spent a grand total of about four hours. I was received, loved like a lifelong friend, which touched me, again and again. Thank you, Love. Bless you, Amber. Bless you, Tucson. Bless you, beautiful Desert. You've given new meaning to "Welcome." You've given new meaning to "Home."
I truly love how Nature doesn't mess with Its nature. You don't ever see a tree trying to be a shrub or a duck trying to be a squirrel or a worm trying (excepting in children's books, perhaps) to sprout wings and fly. This alone accounts for the great power of Nature, it seems to me.Touch, simply touch an early sprout in spring as I did this morning. Hold it for a bit as you would a baby's fingers or toes, say, and step back from thinking. Listen, that is to say, with your touch, and you will "hear" it. You will experience all the life of the earth burgeoning forth in that sprout. You will apprehend a pure and complete intention taking form: this branch will produce maple seeds and maple leaves. It's a staggering power, really, and it is the very same power that gives rise to you and to me.Why, unlike the duck, the worm, and the tree and all the rest, we try at times to contort ourselves into disharmonious, "untrue" shapes and ways of being I do not know. I do know that we pay a price for it. But even that unpleasantness--illness or disease, say--is another of Nature's genero-
sities. You are off track, dear. Come around, come around, She all but speaks.Nature will always lead us to true being--to our essence, our so-called Buddha Nature. She offers an infinite and endless array of wayshowers that remind us of that. It is my immense privilege to witness and remember from them.
Let Us Pray
"Let Love have Its way," I say. "Love knows Its way: let It have it!" I say. Yet "Nature unaided fails." So stated Madame Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine.And it's true. Although it is a piano's nature to make music, and a computer search engine's nature to search and deliver results, they cannot act alone. The search engine needs parameters to search. Without a player, the piano makes no sound.It is beautiful to watch Life express (at the impress of countless seen or unseen triggers) on Its own terms, unhindered. It is equally beautiful to sculpt It, to pour Substance into the mold of our choosing. Life provides limitless Substance for this, an undifferentiated Substance that is dumb in the way that the search engine is dumb, in the way that the piano is dumb. If we want a C, we must strike the key of C. A piano will and can only play the note of the key we strike (whether the right or wrong key)--in tune if we have maintained the instrument, out of tune if we have not.
And so it is with prayer, and those who pray faithfully will say their prayers are always answered. They are always answered. Because to pray on something is to focus the mind--not a mind but the mind, which is to say all mind: Mind. Prayer works the way intention works, acting upon the dumb Substance, enlisting helpers to move things along.It feels as though intention draws what we intend to us, and it does: by putting Mind into action. Intention wakes Mind up out of standby mode. I could say it puts mind inside and mind outside into action, but there is no inside and outside. There is only Mind and where it is focused. Where it is focused is the object of intent, whether or not that object is desirable to us. Maintain this focus sufficiently and the thought gives birth to itself in form. This is what has come to be called manifestation. Our thought, by way of prayer or intent, manifests in form. It pours undifferentiated Substance into the mold of our choosing, and... voila!
This process holds true for any sustained focus. It is a universal principal--a law--which, as I've explained, works impartially and impersonally. So the undercurrent of nagging fear of...whatever one is fearful of gives rise to that which one fears. The constantly critical eye yields more and more to criticize. Thoughts of lack bring more lack. The focus on wealth draws wealth. Worry breeds more to worry about. Looking for the good in people turns up...surprise surprise: lots of good people!It is not magic, it is law, and it takes no special powers to set this law in motion. In fact, we are all using it all the time. Every minute of every day. This is why I--and Carolyn Myss and who knows how many others--say that every thought is a prayer.So, what are you praying for today?