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Blog Alan Seale, May 25, 2020 | Transformational Presence

It was just after 5:00 am and the sunlight was peeking over the horizon. I had walked the dogs and they were nestled in my lap on the back deck of our home. As I savored my first sips of coffee and rested in the early morning light and the symphony of birdsong, I listened into the moment to find what I would write about this week. Following on last week’s article about having less and less to say, I recognized that my week since had been about finding space inside for all that is.

Although I have long sensed that the inner space is vast and free, I confess that I don’t always access that space easily. Especially in times of uncertainty and confusion. However, the last few weeks have brought increasing peace and stillness within. More recent days have brought an easier opening to that vast inner space where I can, in fact, embrace all that is in these changing times.

Sitting in the cool stillness of the morning with my hands wrapped around my warm coffee mug and a lap full of dogs, words from two wisdom teachers came to me. The first two lines from the third verse of Rumi’s poem, “A Great Wagon,” are well known, yet the two lines that follow are not so familiar:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.

(Translation by Coleman Barks)

These days, it is easy to get caught up in the mass media and social commentary on all that is happening—what is right and what is wrong, what is truth and what is not. Yet beyond the commentary and judgments, there is an open space—a space waiting for us to step into and create something new.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.

Although I might not have put these words to it, this is exactly the space that makes me have less and less to say. It’s a space beyond the troubles of our current situation. It’s a space pregnant with possibilities. Indeed, it’s a world too full to talk about. I can only breathe it in and listen, sense, and feel. For now, I can only let it talk to me.

The second “wise words” that came to me in that early morning quiet are from Etty Hillesum, a Jewish diarist who lived in Amsterdam and died in Auschwitz in 1943.

Through me course wide rivers
and in me rise tall mountains.
And beyond the thickets
of my agitation and confusion
there stretch the wide plains of my
peace and surrender.
All landscapes are within me.
And there is room for everything.

Many times during the last two months, the wide rivers in my subconscious mind have been turbulent and the tall mountains nearly insurmountable. The thickets of my agitation and confusion have been dense.

Yet more recently I have found a clearer path to the wide plains of peace and surrender. I have found that all landscapes of possibility exist both in my inner world and the world that surrounds me. There is room for everything.

The more I allow there to be room for everything, the more I am able to remain grounded in the present moment. And that makes navigating the uncertainty easier. I’m not trying to get somewhere. I’m just being present with everything that is. And I accept that it’s up to me and to us what part of the everything we choose to give energy to, today and going forward.