Shuba’s Weblog

Journeys of the soul…

I open my eyes because I love mountains…

on December 4, 2011

Leaves in a stream move without a plan
Clouds in the valley drift without design
I close my eyes and everything is fine
I open them because I love mountains.

These lines are from a poem by Stonehouse, a zen monk who lived in the 12th century in China. I love these lines so much. I know exactly what he means in the first three lines. I love solitude, I love the time when I’m by myself and everything is fine. I know my place in this world, and feel deeply rooted to where I am – strong and centered and at peace with things are they are.

And then I open my eyes. I enter this world, of playing the many different roles –a mom, a wife, a friend, a colleague, a teacher, a daughter, a sister, and more. Sometimes I play them gracefully and lightly, but a lot of the time, I see a myriad of emotions come up: impatience, irritation, frustration, judgment, imperfection, reactivity, as much as love, amazement, wonder, freedom, space and gratitude. I push away the first set of emotions and grasp tightly to the second set. But whose judgment am I using? Why is one wrong and the other right? As a human being, will I not experience anger, frustration and jealousy? Can I make room for them so that compassion may arise?

Then perhaps I may have a chance to see deeper that there is something beautiful in everything. Not just in love and peace, but in anger and impatience as well, and for me, this week, in loneliness. When we sit and feel the pain, there is such an aching beauty in it, how loneliness feels utterly desolate and yet is simply passing by, and in the very next moment, it is possible to feel connection. This surprises me to no extent – our capacity for joy and peace and space amidst utter chaos.

Many times, I find myself asking: I have so much! So much to be grateful for. Why the struggle? Why this loneliness? And the answer always comes later: so that I may know that suffering passes. Everything passes. And nothing brings more peace than sitting with one’s own pain.

Poet Hafiz says: Don’t surrender your loneliness so quickly. Let it cut more deep. Let if ferment and season you as few human or even divine ingredients can. Something missing in my heart tonight has made my eyes so soft my voice so tender, my need of God absolutely clear…

In loneliness, we seek true companionship – the one that can only be found inside. There are times when I’m aware that I have all the love in this world and still felt lonely – and allowing myself to feel it lets me find the friend inside, the one who knows like nobody else does, what I really need in loneliness.

Waking up and realizing it as a gift only comes by only if we are sleep in the first place. Gratitude for kindness becomes oh so clear after a dark night of judgment. And connection is never more profound as when we have sat with our loneliness. Doing so is when I come to know what Stonehouse means in his last line, when he says that I open my eyes because I love mountains.

With Love, S.

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3 responses to “I open my eyes because I love mountains…

  1. A says:

    Beautiful thoughts. I was thinking something similar. My neighbour with a new born is forever frustrated with herself for not being the picture of equanimity all the time. We are sometimes too unforgiving of the negative emotions that we experience.

  2. carolwharry says:

    Thank you Shuba this is lovely.

  3. balai says:

    beautifully written and nailed the thought perfectly. Keep it flowing!

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