Court The Yearning
To yearn, to long for something unattainable, maybe even for the rest of our lives—this spiritual practice has all but been obliterated in Western culture, along with allowing for boredom, another path to the mystery. Even more fascinating to me is the connection between yearning and boredom. When we allow ourselves to stay still for moments or months without distraction, what we uncover is yearning. In fact, the yearning is so intense, it drives the unconscious to distraction or revelation. One day, or many, we have a piercing moment of clarity and ask, “what am I doing?” and “how did I get here?” The answer: distraction. And in that grand aha we take the first step toward an authentic life. This is happening on a collective level currently.
In wisdom traditions we cannot escape the yearning, even when we drive it under, it still lurks, haunts us, sometimes through dreams and our subconscious. What is this yearning for? The mystics say, for God and Goddess, to be united again. As long as we are in human form, separate from our divinity, we will yearn and thus a spiritual practice is born. The separation causes suffering. There are smaller yearnings, too, but like tributaries, follow them long enough and they all flow to source, the source of yearning.
In the States, we don't yearn. We shop, we consume, we tinker, we avoid, we move around the void, but it sits in the center of us, a blackhole sucking energy until we have a come-to-jesus with ourselves and recognize that all desire, all yearning, is a yearning for the light. This awareness eventually erodes the displaced projection, and eradicates our desire for distraction.
There is always something to do, work to be done, a space to tidy, junk to purge, people to manage, friends to celebrate with, so carving out periods of time for doing nothing feels impossible, and yet there’s a dire need. Otherwise we never have an experience of true yearning, and thus glimpse our own awakening. We have to risk boredom.
I practiced this recently. After campaigning for my book, being tethered to social media for months, I took an entire day without technology, without music, without books—now a weekly practice. I became bored within the first two hours and because I knew to watch for it, when it arrived, I greeted it like a friend, a messenger. I stayed with my boredom until gradually it transmuted into contemplation, which then revealed my yearning and yielded epiphanies. I recognized this path. I’ve been on it many times. It’s the path to wisdom and it is available to us all, but we must risk the boredom, the aloneness, and the inner critic’s harsh voice with its hurling insults; laziness, unworthiness, fear, inertia, even death.
Court yearning like a lover. Tease out yearning’s brilliance. Create a cauldron and let the yearning burn there into creativity, into passion, into a garden. Serve the yearning something sweet and delicious. Tell it secret dreams, pray with it, dance, and write poetry. Eventually what we yearn for, yearns for us. Can you imagine? Gods and Goddesses yearning for us?
Behind the Before
There's a land behind the before,
dark as closed eyes in a moonless night
or the quiet in a meditator's heart.
Mind tunnels lead to vials of the
first soft petal. Anointed. Essence sits on sacred altars
and the breath of ancient chants whisper its knowing.
We fall in
We fall in
And when time lights our lashes
and we risk the opening of eyes
they see a new world, birds sing with crisp tune,
sunflower heads bow and sway to no breeze
other than the wind of God, from behind the before.
People love with reckless abandon, remembering.
We fall in
We fall in
Once you have journeyed the secret garden,
and the molecules have broken apart
to infinite space before you,
there is no return.
The scenery may be the same, but the beholder never will.
Be with me and fall in.
Say, thank you, and come in.