what is a blessing?

so, i’m chewing on this puzzle:

how breakdowns, depressions, heartbreaks, ruptures, rock bottoms and dark nights of the soul can be blessings, miracles and moments of grace.

what is a blessing?  a miracle?  grace?

i know that in the presence of grace, what formerly felt impossible feels not just possible but inevitable.  i know that the miraculous brings a feeling of being no longer alone, the truest embrace.  a blessing is something other-worldly, brought squarely into this world.  a terrified part of ourselves unclenches and relaxes into the sunshine embrace of life.  we feel in unity with a force that is larger than us, yet part of us.

miracles renew our trust and confidence, in our selves and in life itself.  blessings transmit love.  grace connects us back into oneness and wholeness.

and then again, perhaps blessings are so personal and subjective that they defy definition.

ineffable, yet we all know them when we see and feel them.

either way, miracles do not seem to be map-able, repeatable, dependable events.  there are no blueprints for blessings, no set of outlooks and behaviors that will guarantee Grace.

but neither are they out of our control completely.

to have the best chance of a blessed life experience, we must open our frightened minds to the possibility that our lives can actually keep getting better and better and better.  that is good to feel good.  that our enjoyment is one of the best ways to praise the Holy One and all She created.

we must give ourselves maximum collision points with micro and macro acts of kindness; we must wrap ourselves with the tiny scraps and huge blankets of love that warm our inner and outer worlds.

we must consider that love comes in many forms, including homemade soup on your doorstep, a smile from a stranger, a scalpel, a Dark Night of the Soul.

we must realize that our souls are less concerned that we achieve an orderly, virtuous and high-earning life and more concerned that our lives feel beautiful and true, that we continuously learn things that are uniquely designed for our blooming, and that we are fueled with as much intense life-force energy as our precious body can hold.

we must remember (or at least be reminded and reminded) that we are deeply, irrevocably cherished by the divine.

we must come to know that there is nowhere we could go and nothing we could do to fall from grace.

perhaps if we audaciously assume that blessings are always aimed in our direction, if we presuppose we too are (and always were) worthy of grace, then we not only invite more miracles in, we recognize them where we used to walk right by them.

i once had the good fortune to sit with a real-deal enlightened Zen master for several months at a time, for several years in a row in Pune, India.

Dolano is an unlikely Zen master – an orphan, a homeless heroine addict and often stripper who eventually got kicked out of her twenty-year stint at the nearby Ashram.  she spoke to the gaggle of seekers, who had come to sit with her in what she called “The Last Satsang,” an inquiry into the truth of Who Are You that was designed to help each of us not just take one more step on the spiritual path but get completely OFF the path altogether:  to wake up, once and for all.

in her Hindi- and German-laced broken English she asked us, “what do you want?  what are you waiting for?  EN-LIGHT-EN-MENT!?  eternal bliss and light?”  she spread her fingers into jazz hands, blazed her eyes and yelled mockingly, “EN-LIGHT-EN-MENT!  what miracle do you want?  isn’t THIS miracle enough?”  she gestured wildly toward the river and jungle and birds and monkeys and honking traffic from the nearby road and us seated in our back jacks swatting mosquitoes.  and to life, unruly, cacophonous life itself.  “isn’t this miracle enough?  the miracle is coming home to your breakfast table, coming home to your cup of tea.”

whether seeking enlightenment or simply a way to do something good with our one precious life, it is likely we need to be as radical as Dolano, my radical teacher of Waking The Fuck Up, radical enough to keep looking for and finding the extraordinary in the ordinary.

as Nisargadatta says, “the other world is this world, rightly seen.”

apparently we need as much schooling in navigating the dark as in cultivating the light, to help us wipe away the film over our eyes, so we can rightly see.

*****

so, what say you?

what is a blessing?  a miracle?  grace?

what are examples of these in your life?

what you feel in their presence and how you know you are in their presence?

speak to me here, below.

and if you haven’t already, please come be a friend of mine on Facebook. 

i’ve accepted Facebook into my heart as another useful (and often more intimate) format where i share finished and unfinished pieces of my writing, refined and unrefined practices and rough and ready ideas that i don’t get to share via this mailing list.

it’s a place for me to see your face and learn about you, to show you my face and learn about me, and for us to interact about what is moving and shaking us and how we are making sense of this wild, crazy ride as a Feminine Geniuses.

i’ll see you there, friend: https://www.facebook.com/liyana.silver

all sorts of blessings,

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