You Are the Feast!

When we look out from Love, all is already done. Already fed. We just forget that we’re fullness and Love, and then we go looking for it, trying to get back to it. Trying to get somebody to listen to us, just for five minutes. Instead of remembering, “Oh my God, I’m the feast itself!” So we can say, “I don’t always feel like the feast, but I am the feast itself. I sometimes feel like a pack of a thousand beggars looking for the feast, but I am the feast itself.” That’s why the beggars come and visit you; that’s why there are so many of them. They heard a rumor that you’re a feast and they didn’t wait for the invitations to be printed. They came running.

Kiss Everything

The more aware we become, the more sensitized and softened we get, the more we see how harsh we are, and it kills us. We don’t want to look at it, nor the pain underneath. And if we’re lucky, this slowing down crucifies us on our humanness, and we have to howl and open, open to the love that we are.

Nobody wants to go into these places where things are gristly, unkempt, unresolved, bedsprings sticking out all over, you know, where gum sticks to our shoe. You’ll notice that everything inside says “Get out, solve it, quick hide, do something!” And if it’s a really good one, everything outside is saying that too, where the walls themselves are reverberating with “Danger, danger Will Robinson! Don’t feel THAT! Get outta there!”

I love to sail in there and have us all take one long slow breath, and let the sunshine of Presence in. If we slow it all down, this is the place where we have to feel the very thing that the spiritual path was supposed to eliminate, the very heart of separation: something here deserves to be banished.

These places are not places to get away from. That’s just what’s in there from the moment we got overwhelmed and instead of staying open and breathing, we had to shut down and start to cope in separation. We had to flee. And this whole emphasis on getting perfect and getting better and on “some day when all my shit is gone” is not where it’s at–it’s a fantasy. Freedom doesn’t happen because we get perfect; freedom happens because we so utterly embrace what’s here, exactly as it is.

I don’t care if we call it my shit, your shit, their shit–it’s OUR shit. As long as any one of us believes we’re shit, that’s OUR shit. And the most hilarious part is that every one of these ones that appears to be locked in a jail cell is just another face of God. Here’s God, pretending she’s locked in a jail cell–feels really real, can’t get out of it with just that insight. We have to climb down the stairs, get on our knees into the black gook with that face of God like she is our very own self and kiss her on the mouth or we’re not free there. It’s the embodied part of the paradox. You either kiss everything or you don’t, and you can’t fake it.

Feel It

When we feel an unpleasant feeling or we have an unpleasant thought, there’s almost a knee jerk conditioned response to try and DO something. It’s such a micro-movement that starts it. This is caused by our cultural abandonment of the wisdom of our feeling capacity. Instead of “being with”, we are off trying to solve it, using the mental capacity where the feeling capacity is most called for. So when we are simply being and we notice the rising of that tension, watch the pull to start thinking about and wrestling with “a problem” and how we can solve it. If we allow it to run, we’re off and away from right here. If we simply “be with” it, dropping down into the FEEL of it rather than THOUGHTS about it, we start to live from the deeper rhythm of Love and being, allowing fear to burn off in the witnessing and meeting. Love will paint a canvas through you that is completely different than the one fear wants to paint.

Something She Will Show

My mother shakes
with her left hand. She
hides the other
during photographs.

Two fingers, one flat, wide
and short, one like a
piggy-toe, and her hand, slender
in its odd grace, wrapped
in a pocket.

I’m sorry said
her mother to
her father in the white
hospital room. I couldn’t even
give you a
whole child.

An unholy nun
demanded my mother
hold a flower high in an Easter
parade like
everyone else. As if the world
truly offers the softness of
a pocket, as if the others
were willing to carry their
vulnerability aloft for all
to see.

My daughter will use the hand
of her choice
said her mother, and so she marched
with the hand she shakes with, the hand
she will show.

My mother bears
her vulnerability, and therefore her
beauty visibly and with
courage. I ache for
the touch of that
banished hand on
my face
for the special grace
not of this world
that lives
in her fingers.
I want a parade and
I want it in church
with my mother at the lead and
holding her hand aloft
in my own I will
sing: This
is my mother, these
are her fingers, isn’t she
And following will be
a stream of
women, each of us
the part
we most like
to hide.

—Jeannie Zandi