Monday, February 8, 2010

Giving Birth To Oneself

DHS 89/100

I was filing something in my desk when i ran across a stamp i had made for myself a couple of years ago when i was in Xian, China. You can see it in today's DHS, it's that little red thing in the bottom left corner. The character on the right is "Lao," on the top left "Ben," and the bottom left "Dan," or, my name in family name, first name order, Lao Bendan. Forgot that i had this or i would have been stamping all my DHS's.

Spent a little time with Rumi this afternoon looking for inspiration and once again he didn't let me down. Here are two snippets from two different sections of The Essential Rumi where he reminds us that patience, dedication, and perseverance are the keys to that door we seek.

Work. Keep digging your well.
Don't think about getting off from work.
Water is there somewhere.

Submit to daily practice.
Your loyalty to that
is a ring on the door.

Keep knocking, and the joy inside
will eventually open a window
and look out to see who's there.


A new moon teaches gradualness
and deliberation and how one gives birth
to oneself slowly. Patience with small details
makes perfect a large work, like the universe.

What nine months of attention does for an embryo
forty early mornings will do
for your gradually growing wholeness.

I like the metaphor of "giving birth to oneself." It's not something that can be rushed. Or forced. It will happen when the time is right, when the proper time has come. When the birth takes place it can be incredibly beautiful and bring everyone in the room to tears. What has been given birth to isn't unexpected, it has been there for a long time; out of sight, but more and more obvious as the days and weeks passed and as you nurtured its growth.

It all begins with the idea that there is more to us than meets the eye. It all begins with the realization that we are not who we think we are. It all begins with the complete and unequivocal acceptance of the simple truth of I Am. It all begins with those first tentative steps towards that gateless gate, that brickless wall, that glassless window. It all begins with the simple step of surrendering to Life, to Being, to that one thing that we are, Awareness, and the complete unshackling from everything that we are not.

Rumi says it can be done in forty days. Forty early mornings dedicated to doing nothing, going nowhere, attempting nothing, all for the sole purpose of allowing one thing —your continued growth into wholeness. Your continued growth into nothing. Because when you become whole, when you see "form is emptiness and emptiness is form," when the shackles and cheap trinkets of who you thought you were drop away, you will know that I Am encompasses everyone and everything and therefore by being everything you are nothing.

Submit to daily practice. Reach for that ring on the door. And when beckoned, stride confidently through the gate and find the love waiting on the other side.

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