Everything you could ever want is present right in this very moment

I just got home from the grocery store. I had to buy some chicken wings, you know? Our dog is a raw-food dog, and that’s been a staple of her diet since she was a puppy. We were out of them, and she was hungry, and so a trip to the store was called for. Add to that some granola for the morning, a new candle, some incense, and it’s a complete shopping trip.

Something odd happened as I exited the grocery store. They were playing the Bee Gee’s old hit tune from 1979, “Tragedy,” and I decided to stop by and look at the magazines on my way out. They had the usual yoga magazines, cooking magazines, etc., and I stopped to look at the new Cucina Italiana. We had a subscription for a while. It was a gift for my wife. She loves Italy and Italian cooking. So do I. I had my groceries, though, so I headed out the door.

As I walked out into the parking lot, the sky was grey, it was dusk, and there was a cool breeze blowing. There was not much activity in the parking lot, and the energy was very calm. This was the cool, clear sense of vajra energy, I think, and I just kept walking, feeling the energy of the air, the sky, the earth, and the encroaching of the night. In a way, it was really a profound experience. I almost started to cry right there in the parking lot, because it was so beautiful in its own way.

Now that doesn’t make sense. Here I am, in the midst of a six-month crisis, trying to nurse my marriage back to health, and somehow things seem perfect. Then I remembered a statement that Reggie Ray made not too long ago. If you don’t know Reggie, you can click the preceding link; he’s a Buddhist teacher and a profoundly insightful individual. I can’t give you the quote verbatim, but the thrust of it basically was that, if you are truly mindful, you’ll find that everything you ever could possibly want to be present right here, right now, in this very moment. I don’t think I ever began to understand that, but tonight I had a tiny glimpse into what that means. You have to drop your defenses. You have to drop your ego-clinging and its attendant narrative. You have to just let go. When you do that, you can then see things as they are, and that is perfect in and of itself.

This might not mean much to those of you who are not dharma practitioners, but I’ll share it anyway. I am just reminded of a song that was composed by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, one of the great living masters of Tibetan Buddhism. Khenpo Rinpoche spent the early part of his life as a wandering yogi who traveled the land in Tibet, taking whatever teachings he could, practicing in caves, and so on. Teachings in the yogic tradition were often given in the form of song, and this one is no exception. We sing it often in my lineage, including every Sunday during our weekly Green Tara practice. It’s called “All These Forms,” (you can hear it here) and the text is as follows:

All these forms–appearance-emptiness
Like a rainbow with its shining glow
In the reaches of appearance-emptiness
Just let go and go where no mind goes

Every sound is sound and emptiness
Like the sound of an echo’s roll
In the reaches of sound and emptiness
Just let go and go where no mind goes

Every feeling is bliss and emptiness
Way beyond what words can show
In the reaches of bliss and emptiness
Just let go and go where no mind goes

All awareness–awareness-emptiness
Way beyond what thoughts can know
In the reaches of awareness-emptiness
Let awareness go–oh, where no mind goes

Not that I feel particularly enlightened tonight, but I think I got a tiny sliver of what this song means.

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