My title is stolen from Gangaji, with respectful thanks.
I’ve had an interesting few days since the last post. Interesting as in wondrous, as in OMG, and as in “what am I gonna do with this?”
(The last post. Crikey – isn’t that what they play at funerals?)
In this case it was a poem by Mary Oliver about Buddha’s last instruction imploring his friends and followers to “Make of yourself a light.”
Make of yourself a light. My beloved teacher Krishnamurti issued the same urgent invitation – “Be a Light unto yourself!” – and if anyone was a stand-up example of a being who put everything – even godhood – behind him to be his own Light, it was K.
Make of yourself a light. Be a Light unto yourself. I’ve been sitting with this and I confess it no longer makes sense to me. How can I be a Light unto ‘myself’ when what I am cannot be separated from the Light of Beingness? Clearly both K and the Buddha were speaking to the individual. But this Light that ‘I’ is, has no experienced beginning or end and is indivisible and changeless and inescapable. It’s meaningless to imagine that I am separate from it and need to make myself one with it. No disrespect to my teachers, but … why didn’t they come upfront and say something like “Be the changeless Light that you are?”
A Light. A Light that knows all other light as its shadow. This is the truth of what I am and I cannot argue with it. I can only dive deeper and deeper into it, to “surrender to it” as Gangaji writes.
And what a strange synchronicity: at the same time I have been becoming acutely, painfully aware that the bottom line for me now is Love. It’s the only thing that really, truly, interests me – Divine Love. Paradoxically, it seems to be most intimately known by its absence.
In the mix of moving and settling and re-establishing relationships I have been neglecting the Beloved. The zafu has been waiting, the Gap has been beckoning. To the extent that I have procrastinated I have felt the subtle ache of estrangement. Finally it could no longer be tolerated and I pinched my nose, held my breath and dropped into Point Zero – Zafuland.
Beloved Lover was there; lovingness and lightness and laughter were there.
No buts, no maybe’s. Love lies awaiting when ‘I’ make the turn – when Unlit Light makes the turn. There were tears. There was contrition. Lover simply laughs: “No big deal babe!”
Love is like good bread – it must be baked fresh every day.
Krishnamurti used to say “Enlightenment is a Light that is continually lighting itself.”
Yes. I go forth with a massive box of matches …
~ miriam louisa