presence and absence

“In the silent darkness we are given new eyes. In the heart of the divine we can see more clearly who we are.”

Macrina Wiederkehr


“Saying the mantra is like dismantling a wall that separates your true Self from union with God … each syllable a brick … each word a course.”

Via Negativa

two faces and a vaseIn his book of essays, ‘Working the Room’, Geoff Dyer suggests we reflect not only on the positive things that shaped our lives but also on the negative things that did not happen – those events that did not register on our internal seismograph.

In his case, narrowly avoiding being written off by an American truck when he was driving too tired at night on the wrong side of the road. In my case, the job offer I turned down in High Point, North Carolina  when I was on tour with the band. And others.

Seeing our life in relief – the positive and the negative, like a brass rubbing – brings a sense of relief. And gratitude. Gratitude for the good things we care to remember and gratitude for the bad things that could have happened but didn’t.

The path to the awakened life is not one of addition – adding missing knowledge or perfected practice to who you are already. Rather, it is a path of subtraction – letting go of ideas you have accrued. It is a state of remembering who you already are – your true nature.

At the end of González Iñárritu’s film ‘Amores Perros’ – a meditation on death – if you stay long enough and read the credits before the house lights go up you will see an unattributed quote: “Porque también somos lo que hemos perdido.” Because we are also what we have lost.