Take Refuge

 

Today, I am thinking about what “refuge” is – beyond the physical experience of being sheltered from danger.

I am thinking about spiritual refuge.  Soul refuge.

Buddhists take refuge in the Buddha.

Christians take refuge in Christ.

I take refuge in my Gurus.

Upon contemplation of Him or Her, I dissolve

and I am held.

I feel both sheltered and annihilated, and somehow

this feels like the sweetest kind of safety

when my “self” isn’t running the show anymore.

In this space of “non-self” I feel the bubbling nature of my refuge.

It is Alive!

And curious….

And everywhere…..

It exists in the broken places,

where the gears have been grinding,

where conflict appears.

It exists in the limitations,

the brick walls and closed doors –

telling us to find another way!

It exists in the desire and the pining and the want –

the pleasure and the pain of being contained in a body,

experiencing ourselves as seemingly separate from all the other creatures.

It exists in heartbreak and misfortune – these things tearing us down to a simplified awareness of what we are made of.

And we, when we are not in a position of seeking physical refuge

from abuse

terrorism

natural disaster

politico-economic upheaval

we may find a thousand ways to perpetuate our own suffering, running away from

refuge

But by miracles I do not understand,

slices of grace are being offered constantly,

when we open the door to the One who is knocking.

It doesn’t have to be God

or Jesus

or Buddha

or a Guru

It can be the spacious kindness within your own sweet self.

Take refuge there.

Love from that place.

*

 

 

Broken Little Pieces

 

We are all refugees

here

Trying to keep our precious hearts alive.

*

It happens

as it should

That you will find yourself unraveled

into pieces

like so many messy parts

The veil is shattered,

and your brokenness is hanging like an unhinged door

So obvious —

There’s no use trying to make this look pretty.

*

When you find yourself this way

Crooked and unhinged

Will you please say hello to your mind

with kindness?

Step into the dark places, and find the ones who look like monsters.

See your Rage, sharpening its blade of resentment like a knife, silently seething with a killer’s white fury.

Step towards it and drop to your knees.

Stroke its perfect face, distorted as it may be.

Thank it for working so hard to protect you all these years.  All this time.

Feel how tired it is and let it take a rest.

Gently remove the blade from its hand, placing it nearby.

Lay its head down on a bed of moss covered with white flowers.

Let it rest.

Nothing to do right now, sweet Rage.

You can sleep.

*

See Rejection standing nearby.

Rush towards it with open arms.

Cradle it, hold it to your smiling heart, for there is nothing more worthy of love than this one who has forgotten its own worth.

Let it feel the comfort that you bring as you accept it exactly as it is right now.

Wrap it in your favorite shawl and help it to lay down for a nap on the soft, green moss.

*

Do this, continuously, for everyone you find in the shadows of your mind.

Greed.  Fear.  Judgment.  Perversion.  Doubt.  Sadness.  Jealousy.  Shame.  Irritation.  Hopelessness.  Worry.  Depression.  Control.  Denial.

Find these broken pieces.

Love them in their brokenness.

There is nothing to fix.

With a quiet kind of grace, we are sweeping the mind

and the story is falling away.

The Refuge is here,

ever-accessible.

Find it in stillness, in silence, in the breathing in and out.

Find it in weeping, in falling apart, in the heart that is bursting

with unconditional love.

*