Today began with cultivation: very early in the morning, I awoke, and began at once, in the darkness, to investigate, to discover availability.
This is, for me, a kind of inner spelunking; after for a moment or two sensing the wholeness of the body, I carefully check various parts to see if they are receptive to a possibility, usually simply by placing attention within them. In particular, I pay attention to my breathing, the way air enters the body, the relationship between physical sensation, inward breath, and the sensation within the centers.
What can be fed in this relationship?
There are times in the night when we may be much more available, if we check. Dogen often speaks of flowers blooming in the night; I feel rather certain he was referring to the arrival of a much finer energy which can support us in our daily effort. When we are half-awake we are softer; things we know nothing of can enter us.
This morning when I was sitting, I was reminded of the fact that man cannot "do."
We cannot go and get inner energy for ourselves; it comes. Our job is to make ourselves receptive--to open ourselves.
Much of this consists of not trying to do anything. Henry Brown used to call it "the effortless effort." Anyway, this morning I found myself, in an inner sense, continually stepping out of the way to allow a finer rate of vibration to enter.
I don't use the word silence much when describing this kind of work. Others use it so frequently it seems done enough, and besides, it has always bothered me that people dare to speak about silence. The inherent contradiction is appalling, isn't it?
However, this is one of those rare times I would invoke that word, for when we go deep enough inside, and surrender enough of ourselves-- so much that, as my old movements teacher Andre Enard once told me privately--we give up everything, even our wish--
well then, a new force may arrive and enter us. This we find in silence, and cherish in silence.
We don't like letting go in this manner--at least I don't. It involves extinguishing the entire construction, and there is a part in me that just does not want to let go that much. Nonetheless, if I surrender enough of myself, I may touch a moment when the Lord is truly received with joy and thanksgiving.
It is the work of investment of attention within specific points--the inner flowers-- that interests me the most now. In this manner we can prepare our inner octave for the arrival of this finer energy.
It is either there, or it is not--it is not up to me. I can use my attention to create the conditions for a seed to grow, but I do not own the seed, or direct its germination. I am nothing more than the observer--the farmer who plants when the time is right, and then waits patiently for water and sun.
May your roots find water, and your leaves know sun.