The inbox was full to bursting. I rarely check this email address anymore - it is kept as a promise to future 'professional' writing projects. Few know of it and I like that it is anonymous. It is time I cleaned it out.
One of the things I routinely receive there is an email from Tricycle Magazine - a Buddhist publication which distributes 'daily dharma' messages. I scrolled through them, certain I would never be able to read them all, but one struck me. January 27th. The day of my grandfather's memorial service. Jack Kornfield wrote of a lesson that made itself known to him once in Las Vegas as he found himself staring at a sign posted on the wall. "Must be present to win."
Yeah. I've not been present. I've not taken the time to sit quietly and feel. I have stepped far enough into it to acknowledge the events themselves - my grandfather died, my father is dying. I have stood at the edge of that cave opening and seen the darkness, then turned and walked away as if that were enough.
Today I will plant my feet in the spongy soil just inside the opening of the cave and close my eyes to smell the moist organic scents it offers to me. I will reach out my hand to touch the rocky walls, stroke them with my fingertips and find the fissures, push my palms into the sharp, jutting edges. I will listen to the silence and let it fill me up. Then, and only then, will I take a step forward to see what I can find. I will not carry a torch of any kind. Any illumination of my path will have to come as a result of the gentle opening of my heart to what awaits me. I know that, should I find I need a moment to sit, I will find the perfect perch as it juts out from the wall. I trust that the floor will remain level so long as I need it to. The farther I venture into this black place the more I expect to find gifts. There will be ferns that grow from the solid stone walls, dripping the purest dew, pools of clear water, and light. I need only be present. Present to win.