Bird wings…

Why is it that by simply sitting and watching the breath rise and fall, we learn so much about ourselves ? It never fails to amaze me.

I’m one of those types who generally goes after what I like, with a rigid determination of wanting. especially if what I want makes me feel good. (I’m going to call this the ‘wanting complex’). there are different types of folks: some who try and turn away from what they don’t like (aversion complex). some who give up what they really like (marytr complex) and those who seek what doesn’t make them feel good! (double aversion complex ? ). Its generally one or more of these that drives the car. we just usually don’t know which one.

wanting is one of my things. This time I noticed with startling clarity that whenever I come back from a retreat, I try my best to hang on to the experience. if its a yoga retreat, I’ll do yoga everyday for the next couple of months. If its a good meal, I’ll try and replicate the meal on my next given chance. Its just how I am. something I don’t always see. not that wanting is a bad thing. Endearing even, when we look at the ways we and loved ones act from wanting.

Isn’t this the human condition ? colored by our emotions and our past, we act in ways we don’t really know. and by the simple practice of watching the breath rise and fall, we learn mindfulness. mindfulness allows a pause in between. we start seeing. and when we start seeing, we need a tremendous amount of compassion to be able to stay with what is.

One of the Rumi poems I love called ‘Bird Wings’ says:
‘Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes.
if it were always a fist or always stretched open,
you would be paralyzed.’

Wisdom. Perhaps this opening and closing of the heart is natural. and can we see this as it unfolds ?

Being who I am (the wanting complex, remember! ), I sit diligently in meditation. I practice. I try hard to be present. and every once in a while, I get a glimpse – of effortlessness. things just happen and I can just be. relax. there is no need to try anymore. Just like the breath. there is no need to try. breath happens. we just show up!

‘Your deepest presence is in every small contracting
and expanding,
The two as beautifully balanced and coordinated
as birdwings.’ (Rumi, ‘bird wings’ )

may we enjoy the beauty of the heart!
with Love, S.


2 thoughts on “Bird wings…

  1. Gaining and losing that glimpse of effortlessness, may be one day the wings might gain perfect coordination and we will be able to lift-off like that little bird!

    Everytime, I am wandering around in a book shop, I have been tempted to pick up Rumi, may be just because I have heard so much about Rumi. However, i never came back home with it. This post of yours might have just given that impetus to pick up Rumi & dwelve into it.

  2. ” . . . every once in a while, I get a glimpse – of effortlessness. things just happen and I can just be. relax.”

    I want the “effortlessness” every time I meditate, but I guess I have to settle for just a relaxation every now and then,

    I do feel I am further along the path than I was a year ago or even 2 years ago. It’s a Journey we are on . . .

    thanks for the insight,

    michael j of Conshohocken, PA

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