By Khenmo Drolma
“All the world is on fire
All the world is burning
All the world is ablaze
All the world is quaking
That which does not quake or blaze
That to which worldlings* do not resort
Where there is no place for Mara**
That is where my mind delights.”
………………………………………………………………………………………Photo by Christine Racine
The Enlightened Buddhist Nun, Cala, wrote this in the 5thcentury BCE. It is a pithy and fresh description of anxiety and stress, just as evocative of our time as hers. It feels like our world is quaking some days. She then inspires us to look at our minds closely; there is unshakable peace within it and we can delight in it.
Often, in our day to day existence, we are caught up in chaos, in hope and fear. Thoughts, a claustrophobic barrage of illusory information, entrap us. What if? What did? Living in the past or future consumes our present. We do not see what is actually here, in this moment.
Joy opens with the barest shift of perspective. Now, the present fleeting awareness of life as it is, unadorned by elaboration, is always available. We remember to gaze at the sky. Vastness and clarity open as a vista, an expanse. This spaciousness of now is accompanied by peace and a tickle of joy, like a mental smile. The mind has peace and it is accompanied by heart’s delight. Rising joy, an eternal spring, independent of thoughts or senses simply is.
We may not have had direct experience of this treasure yet or we may have forgotten a rare fleeting taste, but it awaits us. Steadfastly, we begin and again, calming distracting conceptuality. Trusting, because as Cala reminds us, in our quaking, blazing world, peace also is present. Meditation is our mind simply coming home to now and that home is joy.
*Worldlings refers to those with no spiritual training.
*Mara is a personification of worldly ignorance.