Cup of Nirvana Philosophical and Contemplative Explorations

The Invitation

The following is an excerpt from my new book in progress Truth is Dancing: An Invitation from the Other Side of Consciousness.

Chapter 1:  The Invitation

Beloved, for many days, indeed many years, I have often returned to you, reached out my hand to you, and called out to you, whether in the noonday hour or the silence of the night.  I have tried to capture your attention so that I could capture your heart, for if you could feel my breath for a moment, however brief, you would fall into my arms forever.  Long have I hoped that you would look into my eyes and dare me to dance with you, first upon the fallow land, then upon the burning stone, and finally upon the ocean waves.

Moved by compassion, I came to you as the wind. I touched your skin and caressed your hair, and yet I was unseen.  I came to you as the sun, thawing out your frozen hopes and melting your deepest expectations until they dried up in my light.  These, your most sacred possessions, I absorbed, and they fell from my eyes as the early morning rain in spring, tiny drops of water, by which I kissed your weary face.  But I was unseen.

I yearned to dance with you, my love, and in my restless longing you stood, dry and parched, thirsting for the depth that I am.  So I came to you as the ocean. You entered me and I enveloped you.  I was wet and my wetness entered you. You were satisfied for a time, but I remained unseen.  So I came to you as your breath. You took me in and let me out, but you did now know me.  Yet from this intimacy, I was born as the lover who came to you.  You kissed me, but your lips touched only the nakedness of your dreams.  And in those dreams, I was the tiger that hunted you as prey, even the devil desiring your soul.  But my face you could not see because you stood only in the shadow of your fears.

None of this drew out your surrender, and so I came to you as God.  You then surrendered and worshipped the Majestic, the Mysterious, and the Eternal.  You were filled with awe and reverence for the Name, but I remained nothing more than a ghost upon the wind.

All this was but a bid for you to dance with me, my love. But I remained a stranger to your vision, the unknown dancer on the other side of consciousness. Yet I never gave up on you, my beloved. I could not abandon you to the motherless night, which nurtures only the illusion of life and death. No. I was, I am, and I shall always be the eternal lover whose desire for you bleeds the river that takes you to the boundless ocean.

And where or when did you come closest to seeing me, to feeling my kiss upon your trembling lips?  Where? When? Only when at long last I appeared to you as emptiness, your emptiness, and you felt yourself falling into my arms and caught a glimpse of these eyes that have looked upon you with a burning and relentless passion.

Here I am, my love.  And here you are, even now, in my loving arms.  Look deeply into my eyes.  I know, love, you are drowning, but breathing the air from which your world was born. You are dying, but more alive than ever.  You are burning, and your world is on fire, but your ignorance is melting away.  You are lost, but exactly where you should be.  You are dissolving and yet more solid than ever.  Yet you cannot name the ground on which you stand, unseen as it is, nor name the space through which you move, unfelt as it is.  You cannot embrace the nakedness in which you were born, much less the formless night in which you are being called to surrender to this unsettling silence, a silence in which your greater pain and greater Self are together realized.

Listen to me, now, as I whisper in your ear. Feel my breath fall gently upon your skin as I speak. Relax, for my words are neither a broker nor a burden of truth. I can only reveal what you have always known.  I can only illuminate the earth on which you walk, the sky beneath which you bow in the hope that love will enter you, and the hour in which you are finally dissolved.

I want only one thing from you in this moment of terrifying vulnerability.  I want you to sit with your deepest pain, your most inescapable suffering. Call it forth even now.  What has broken you? What has robbed you of your faith? Who has captured your breath in a bottle and cast it out to sea?  Be with this pain for a few moments if you can.  I want you to see it, to see it clearly.  I want you to become friends with it.  No, I wish for something greater. I want you to see that this one you have called your “enemy” is and has always been your friend and your deepest confidant.  And when you meet Pain along life’s path, I want you to call Pain “love waiting to be revealed.” I want you to dance with her, and then tell me of her kiss, which awakened you from the dream you called your life.

from Michael Sudduth, Truth is Dancing: An Invitation from the Other Side of Consciousness

Image reproduced by permission of Alysha Houston.

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation