Again there was a pervasive silence…but this time no movement came. I left the chapel as a feather floats in the wind…Outside I had a difficult time because I was continually falling back into this great silence. But as the days went by, and I was once more able to function as usual, I noticed there was something missing and I couldn’t put my finger on it…..I could not find an explanation in the writings of St. John of the Cross or anywhere else in the library. It was coming home that day, walking with a panorama of valleys and hills before me, that I turned my gaze inward, and what I saw stopped me in my tracks. Instead of the usual unlocalized center of myself, there was nothing there, it was empty; and at that moment of seeing this, there was a flood of quiet joy, and I knew, finally knew what was missing- was my ‘self.’ Physically I felt as if a great burden had been lifted from me; I felt so light. I looked down at my feet to be sure they were on the ground. So I decided that Christ was the joy; the emptiness itself. He was all that was left of this human experience…..Bernadette Roberts
this emptiness is a great mystery and when held only by the ego, becomes a frightening lament of loss….I think it’s about embracing all of us….a wholeness of healing and rest…..a dropping down and letting things be for once, without fixing and understanding….we’re suddenly not trying to make it all look like we want it to….we pay homage to our exhaustion, our sadness, our fear….we find our place everywhere……
This gate of emptiness can reveal itself whether in solitude or in the sacred presence of another, in deep meditation or in the mountains. Attentive to this mystery, the heart can open to directly experience the emptiness which gives birth to all things. Taoists speak of this as sacred hearing, not by means of the intellect’s understanding but the ‘hearing of the spirit,’ in which all the senses are open and empty. Only then, with the emptiness of all the faculties, can the whole being listen and know what is right there before us. which can never be heard by the ear of the mind alone. This is the wisdom of those who know not and who yet, being empty, carry a heart full of light……Jack Kornfield
God’s presence is there in front of us,
a fire on the left
a lovely stream on the right…
Whoever walks into the fire
appears suddenly in the cool stream,
Any head that goes under the water surface,
that head pokes out of the fire.
Most people guard against going into the fire,
and end up in it…
If you are a friend of God,
fire is your water.
You should wish to have a hundred thousand
sets of moth wings,
so you could burn them away, one set a night.