I AM HERE

Who AM I? Where is HERE?
Let’s answer the questions put forth,
before moving on to unrelated topics.

Who am I?
“Who are you?” is the primary question we asked the person sitting across from us. We asked and responded
for 10 days, I think it was.
Other time was devoted to walking meditation, eating vegetarian meals, sleeping a few hours each night, and back at it the next morning.

My opening came during a lunch meal.
I say opening, because it was just that.
I sat cross-legged on the floor, waiting for the lunch call.
An internal Ahhh expanded on a outward breath
spreading loving vibes, beyond this body, into the room.
An assistant asked if she could bring my lunch.
I said yes and shortly later someone handed me the plate and placed a mug of tea on the floor beside me.
I began to eat and quietly cried for all the love I began putting into the love.
I cried, smiled, laughed, finished the meal
and slowly drank the tea.
Hours of calm connected breathing in out love in love out.
The next morning wake-up bell, ding-donged.
I got up, feeling calmly exhausted.
A couple of days later, I drove back to Washington.
Before going home I stopped in at the Central Market.
The electronics from overhead lighting, cash registers,
cooling food units and human activity was very painful.
I quickly left empty-handed, and drove home.

Some experiences may be shared with others through belly hugs, loving energies or some other connective movement,
but rarely through words. Words are not expressive enough
to relate our deepest spiritual experiences.
Spiritual texts are open to individual admiration and condemnation. Words, words, words.

You are in the woods and a tree calls you to hug it. You do,
and may be flooded with choking tears of shared grief
or maybe with bursts of joyful laughter. Spring alive and well. Experiencing the earth’s presence through it’s rooted appendage is a direct connection to the core of love.

Words are the chosen means of human communication.
Even the best poets must make use of words to commune with other humans. With our canine/feline companions, words become unnecessary in time. So too with couples that maintain their individual identities, yet develop a shared and loving additional reality.

Plucking and biting into a Concord Grape,
which happened two night ago, was I said, ‘delicious’.
‘Delicious’ doesn’t reveal an inkling of the flavor
that held me captive, as it assailed my senses.

OK, all these many words, and we still don’t have an answer
to who I am. Let’s approach this with who I am not.

I am not this body.
While sitting cross-legged on the marble floor(no pillow)
in Jaipur, India, not moving for several hours, my lower torso
suddenly appeared as molecular flow with the floor, air, room, all others.
The moment I exclaimed “Wow” or some other such outcry,
I was back in this body, numb legs and all.
I am not this body.

I am not this mind.
At another retreat, or maybe it was the same one in Jaipur,
I had another experience. I was in my cell, on a concrete bed,
on top of my sleeping bag. My head was on the hewn wooden pillow. Almost time to get up for meditation.
I opened my eyes and observed, across the tiny room a mass of entwining earthworms floated at eye level.
The appearance was of earthworms, but they were the calamity of contradictory thoughts, usually residing inside my head. Imagine hundreds or thousands of airborne, entwining earthworms, each a separate out loud thought.
“I am tired” “I am hungry” “This pillow is hard” “I am uncomfortable.” “I hate those peacocks” “I want to leave now” “That woman is so pretty” “I want to meet her after” “She won’t talk with you” “It’s so hot in here” “Get to the meditation hall early and choose your spot” and on and on and on and . . . a cacophony of other out loud thoughts.
The moment I woke up (or was it really ‘fell back asleep’), the myriad of thoughts were back in my head.
I am not this mind.

Then who am I?
I pass on that question.
Who are YOU?

I AM Here.
Here where?

Where am I? I have just skipped answering who I am.
If I don’t know who I am, how can I determine where I am?
Words can only take us so far.
When the answers run out, we rely on the God
of our choosing to keep the secret, secret,
until we can make up a suitable answer.

All that to ask,
“Who am I?”
“Where is here?”

and to answer
“God knows”.

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