I’m reading this spirituality book at the moment. Some parts of it make me cringe, like for example, the title. The Book of Awakening. Words like ‘reborn’ get thrown around a lot, as do phrases like ‘the voice of embodiment’.
Yes, exactly. What in blazers is that?
I read these books not so much to get in touch with some higher being, but to understand human nature better; to understand the psyche behind the human pursuits universal to us all and to learn how to live in a richer way. So I replace words like reborn with the word change. I don’t get too bogged down or put off by the flowery language and instead find the wisdom in these ‘teachings’ so I can apply it to my happening-right-now life. I think by observing life and the nature of human beings, like those ancient old sages did, we can live bigger, truer and bolder lives. And since I don’t have the kind of patience to sit around meditating for fifty years, lucky for me there are all sorts of people to do it for me and write books about the main points. I have highlighters. I know how to use them.
This is an exert from the book that is fitting right now.
An aging Hindu master grew tired of his apprentice complaining, and so, one morning, sent him for some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it.
“How does it taste?” the master asked.
“Bitter,” spit the apprentice.
The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake, and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, “Now drink from the lake.” As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master asked, “How does it taste?”
“Fresh,” remarked the apprentice.
“Do you taste the salt?” asked the master.
“No,” said the young man.
At this, the master sat beside this serious young man who so reminded him of himself and took his hands, offering, “The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is enlarge your sense of things…Stop being a glass. Become a lake.”
I’ve looked back upon photos I’ve taken over the past few days. Not surprisingly, the things captured inside them have helped. The sadness of the events in my last post has not gone away, but rather slotted into an enlarged sense of things, like love.
There is little in life we can control. This much we know. And we can’t save others, only love them. This much we also know. So we knuckle down and band together because when all else fails, you just look at what is right in front of you. I read once that the road to enlightenment is long and difficult, and you should try not to forget snacks and magazines.
So these are the refreshments of my past couple of days, moments I didn’t even really pay attention to, moments that now fill parts of my day with love instead of worry.
This is our weekly ritual. The one day of the week we are rugged up and out the door early, as a little family unit. We sip coffee on the same padded milk crates every week. We buy our veggies at the same stall. We have an egg lady and a bread man and the familiar faces we see there each week are comforting. They affectionately dote on Ella, tell us how much she is changing, gush over the outfit she’s wearing, remind us how precious these years are.
No matter what happens between each Sunday, we always have these markets to ground us in the strange way they do. It seems like as long as we make it there and back and start our week with a fridge stocked with food, the rest will figure itself out.
We called a last minute picnic over the weekend and rummaged together contents of our fridge we could all offer to share. I find it fascinating watching my parents being grandparents. I get glimpses into how they would have been as young parents, and it feels so good when every little thing Ella does matters the same to them as it does to us.
In the meantime, we are wearing protective headgear at all times and paying attention to the small stuff. Like we always do when we’re not sure that any other instructions have been left out for us.
Happy Monday friends. An over-tired little girl needs her mama so I’m signing off and hoping things in your home tonight are sweet and wonderful.
They will be when the kids are asleep, anyway.