Sunday, January 30, 2011

Playing Harriet Tubman

I am practicing Tonglen*.  I am practicing Tonglen for  someone.  He is eight.  He has cancer.   Doing Tonglen for my need my demand that he get well,  fighting this will of mine that is getting in the way.  This  is so much greater than me .  It is beyond  and beyond,  gone beyond me.  He is sick.  I deliver it to the light and I watch in the shadows.  It is my part to bring him,  not to heal.  I am Harriet Tubman.  I am not the North.  He is delivered.  The work begin the work happens  beyond me and without me.   I am the UPS delivery truck driver.  No need to do anything more than my job.  Warm, wrapped as a gift  I bring him.  And still, and still my need is there.  I rage.  I am calling out an injustice.  No! No! No! My voice is a trumpet of grief and resistance.  I scream .  I pound my fists on the desk.  I stomp my feet and smash everything around me, demanding attention.  I will be heard.  Make him well, damn you!  Make him well.  And then,  when I've exhausted myself,  breathing heavy and shaking,  I pause.  I am embarrassed.  I blush and remember myself.  Oh excuse me.  My tantrum is interrupting.   I am the deliverer.  I sit quietly and watch as my charge is delivered.  Just bring him.  Just come.  Just hold and sit and allow.  Don't expect anything to happen.  Simply sit and allow.   Just be.  Offer it all.

*  Tonglen is a Mahayana Buddhist practice meaning of sending light to others, and taking their pain upon yourself.

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