Wednesday, February 12, 2014

How My Life Seeps into My Art or What the Heck are Maras?

Sometimes, I can't succinctly explain the quiet revelations I have.  Maybe its because they are in the wordless voice of God or the Universe or my subconscious.  Translating them for others to understand only works when I write fiction, not explanatory essays.  So, I'm not going to try.   I'm going to quote Pema Chodron and share an excerpt from my latest book, Samadhi, and let you decide what it all means.

Namaste, dear friends.
Without the maras, would the buddha have awakened? Would he have attained enlightenment without them? Weren't they his best friends, since they showed him who he was and what was true ? All maras point the way to being completely awake and alive by letting go, by letting ourselves die moment after moment, at the end of each out breath. When we wake up, we can live fully without seeking pleasure and avoiding pain, without re-creating ourselves when we fall apart. We can let ourselves feel our emotions as hot or cold, vibrating or smooth, instead of using our emotions to keep ourselves ignorant and dumb. We can give up on being perfect and experience each moment to its fullest. Trying to run away is never the answer to being a fully human being. Running away from immediacy of our experience is like preferring death to life.   ~Pema Chodron

Excerpt from Samadhi, Book Three in the Love and Light Series

“Cross the bridge.” Wolf’s voice floated to her on a breeze.  She looked wildly around but there was no damn bridge anywhere. What were they talking about?  Her legs went weak with dizzy dread, and she fell to her knees.  She clasped her hands tightly, tears splatting on her white knuckles as she bowed her head and squeezed her eyes shut.
“God?” she whispered.  “I don’t know if you’re actually there.  You know, I’ve had a hard time believing any deity worth praying to would allow all the horrible things that have happened.”  She swallowed down her pride and broke into a sob.  “But I don’t know what else to do except…pray.  I’m lost, God.  I…don’t know what to do.  Help me because I am all out of ideas.”
She knelt in the smell of baked pine needles and warm, damp earth.   Crickets chirped and a whippoorwill trilled, and she cried harder, remembering the feel of Heather’s lips. Or was it a thousand years ago when Wolf made devoted love to her? As she remembered, lost in the sensations, both physical and emotional, of her brief life with Wolf, all sense of time and place slipped away.  As the memories faded, she fell into a dark, quiet mindlessness.
And in that state, she heard a voice.  It wasn’t speaking words for her ears; it was talking to her heart.  And it told her that all would be well, whatever direction she chose.  And she chose home.  She chose life.  She chose Wolf and the baby. And she chose Heather and Christian. She chose this life, however fraught with peril and complications.  It had always been her choice, she understood in a new way, a soulful way, regardless of the events beyond her control. 
It was always her choice to live, despite the fear, and she knew now without a doubt in her mind where her hope rested.
Where her peace came from.
        And that their love would last forever.

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