Field of Dreams…Gurgling Stomachs…Still Love

August 27, 2010 Evolutionary

Happy Friday, everybody!  Can you believe it’s been 2 weeks since I left…and I’m only half way through Washington state?  I can’t, but I’ve truly lost a sense of time on this trip.  As my friend, Mauri, who I’ll be staying with in Vancouver, Canada in a couple of days, said, “You’ve really stopped and smelled the roses.”  Truly, it has been a

Down the Road.

magnificently visual journey so far but also, a significantly insightful one.  So, it seems, the outer beauty I’m getting to admire daily is a reflection of the inner beauty I’m ravishedly feeling.  Love really has broken through in ways that are perceptibly obvious…at least to me…note singing and whistling on the trails – LOL.  More on love a little later…..

After dinner my last evening at the Trappist Abbey, which was a completely splendid, beautiful and peace-filled experience, I walked along a road I’d no earthly idea where it would lead.  The walk was glorious, a bit rugged and giving the sense of fall in the air.  When this pebbled road eventually ended, it dumped out into this golden field surrounded by green, rolling hills.  There were many colors and the sun hit my face with

I couldn't get enough...and didn't.

 a warmth, a brilliance that stirred me wide awake for the view.  I remained captivated by what I saw for well over an hour, and the only reason I know is because the Abbey bells rang for the last service at 7:30PM.  I left the dinner table about 6:15 or so.  Instead of walking back for Vespers, I stayed to meditate in the quiet cneter of this field.  Once again, I’m reminded of the simplicity of life, of God abundant in all Its Glory, of being soaked by the Oneness of creation.  I’ve never felt like I didn’t want to leave a place and yet, I couldn’t move away when I’d completed this time in communion.  I wanted to stay there forever.

I finally put one foot in front of the other and made my way back to the Abbey where I watched Sister Moon rise quickly and brightly over the trees.  There was so much light given off by the moon that I felt bathed in that as well.  In fact, it was so well lit at night that the stars struggled to sparkle.  If truth be told, I think they stood humbly aside so the moon could have its moment.  The Abbey had tapes of all kinds in their meditation chapel, so I decided to see what was there.  The first set of tapes I put my hands on was a series of lectures about Francis of Assisi.  Needless to say, I spent the next two hours listening to these fantastic, thoughtful, glorious talks.  Was I in heaven?  Yes, without any doubt.

I eventually tired and went to sleep only to awaken at 4AM for Vigils and I’m glad I did, for the church was aglow by the monk’s lights above their chant music.  After Vigils, some of the monks go to meditation and they continue until their mass at 6:30.  I joined them for meditation and found that I quite liked using the little bench on the floor.  What struck me as very funny in the complete stillness of the meditation room was the sound of gurgling stomachs.  Every stomach seemed to be orchestrating a symphony of hungry sounds, mine well included.  The meditation time together was energetically powerful in that it was about observing the present moment, blending together beyond flesh or boundary, while going in/out of depth in pre-dawn glow.  Every sound was noticed – the squirrel on the roof, the churning, the subtle breathing, the creak of the wood structure, the beat of my heart.  The stillness is what remained despite the cocophony of change all around.

Not sure what to think.

Since I was already up very early, I decided to go to the gym in Portland.  Thank you, David, for finding just the right Bally’s just 1 block off the 5 freeway!!  It felt good to move around because driving several hours a day or retreating for days on end leaves my body a little stiff and rusty.  Truly, my body feels grateful for the exercise.  After that, I was directed to a FABULOUS car wash.  On my way out, I saw lots of logging trucks.  It’s so foreign to me, I’m not sure what to think about it, but all I kept visualizing was pillaged land.  It seemed sad.  I finally made my way to Lacey, Washington to spend the night at a Benedictine priory with the sisters.  They seem quite progressive – and well off financially.  In fact, all of the retreat houses or monasteries seem to be doing quite well.  It has been good to witness this because I want everyone to experience the sacred quietude found in all of these places.  It’s so important to take time away, time for retreat, time to reflect, to stop thinking, planning or stressing.  Leave it all behind for a day, a few days, a week…whatever you can do.  The world – your world – will not come to an end if you step out for awhile.  Trust me – you will be better for it.

Note: Jungian Workshop...nice!

A little more about love.  It seems that the trail leads to love and love becomes the path.  It’s not a state or a consciousness or a choice.  All of these change by fancy of mood, thought, emotion.  We fool ourselves thinking we have a choice once we have been revealed in love.  God is Love.  God is who we are.  Love is who we are.  I am Mark as God as Love.  There’s no distinction and no separation, no variation, no more, no less, but this love that I am is everything which also includes nothingness.  Face the nothingness and watch the love that you are rise to the top.  This love is already fully present; it simply overwhelms the story we’ve been telling ourselves, the same one I’ve spent many years telling myself.

I’m inadequate in my ability to describe this revelation now, and, in truth, I hope I never find the adequacy.  Tomorrow – Earth Sanctuary on Whidbey Island.  Thank you, Jonathan, for sending me the directions.  I appreciate everyone’s help and support and, especially, the love you express by checking in on me.  Sleep well in peace.

Happiness...and Love.


Entry Filed under: Consciousness, Happiness, Journey, Love, Monasteries, Pilgrimage, Retreat Centers, Saint Francis, Spirituality, Travel, Washington Travel

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