A few nights ago, I was struck with energy of a sort that could be called inspiration, yet didn’t feel particularly special. Rather, it hit like a practical nudge, to write a list.
Probably, this was a build up that started with a question posed during a Brahma Kuhmaris meditation workshop last weekend, about a figure in one’s life who displays admired qualities. I had chosen someone, yet in that choosing had also fathomed others who would fall into that category, then teachers in general, and spiritual friends who have graced my life.
As I began to write the list, a flood of other lists and figures began to appear. A teacher category was soon at 50, then over the next few days, grew to an honest 100. I say ‘honest’ because there were some figures who arose that were not quite teachers, but friends and influencers none the less, and then there was also a darker side of those categories… thankfully, much smaller. A separate ‘friends’ list then formed, grew, and branched into other figures who were ‘neutral-positive’ or neutral-negative due to lingering misunderstanding or discomfort. Then came another list – those on the edges with whom I’d like to be closer.
But it was the teacher list that kept growing, because behind each teacher, were other teachers, and those I’d spent deep lifetimes or love affairs with in books, or who had shown up in various guises or dreams along the way. When I reached that territory – the dream and vision territory – another wave came through. Now, it wasn’t just teachers, but lessons and stories. So I began another list, branching even more.
I have tried to intentionally write out insight stories and dreamy moments before, but they have usually waited for some context to float up, if to be shared. This was different.
Dreams and stories that I hadn’t thought about for very long, began to pour out onto the page, big ones next to little ones next to what had felt at the time to be side thoughts, numbering into the hundreds. I thought about how hard it had been at the end of last year, to write out even ‘100 accomplishments’, and how in contrast, this had all seemed to just appear.
So tired, I kept trying to go to sleep. As soon as my eyes would close, more would come up that I didn’t want to risk losing, so I’d write them, releasing a whole ‘nother wave.
Eventually, I remembered Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED Talk about inspiration and muses, and assured myself that whatever was going on could be continued the next day.
And it was, but only sort of. Rather than adding much to the list, this time my hand went to the list of teachers, writing a word or two about what I felt to have learned from each, whatever came forward strongly. From one – spontaneity, from another – confidence, another the question of suchness. With some I had first experiences; some imparted or deepened feelings, evoked emotion, or pushed me over edges at crucial times. Some were not people, but ‘events’.
I made no effort not to repeat myself, yet there were no repetitions; each role was entirely unique and yet, when I would stop writing and see the whole, each also easily flowed easily into another, each other. Longsightedness was also there… to see that there might be more, or a different way of seeing time that I might move into… more comfortable clothes.
It was like staring into a living, loving, mirror. Just openness to openness.
I’m not sure who the teacher was, who first exposed me to the concept of Indra’s Net, but to convey the way this practice unfolded, one would benefit from visualizing:
FAR AWAY IN THE HEAVENLY ABODE OF THE GREAT GOD INDRA, THERE IS A WONDERFUL NET WHICH HAS BEEN HUNG BY SOME CUNNING ARTIFICER IN SUCH A MANNER THAT IT STRETCHES OUT INFINITELY IN ALL DIRECTIONS.
IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE EXTRAVAGANT TASTES OF DEITIES, THE ARTIFICER HAS HUNG A SINGLE GLITTERING JEWEL IN EACH “EYE” OF THE NET, AND SINCE THE NET ITSELF IS INFINITE IN DIMENSION, THE JEWELS ARE INFINITE IN NUMBER. THERE HANG THE JEWELS, GLITTERING “LIKE” STARS IN THE FIRST MAGNITUDE, A WONDERFUL SIGHT TO BEHOLD.
IF WE NOW ARBITRARILY SELECT ONE OF THESE JEWELS FOR INSPECTION AND LOOK CLOSELY AT IT, WE WILL DISCOVER THAT IN ITS POLISHED SURFACE THERE ARE REFLECTED ALL THE OTHER JEWELS IN THE NET, INFINITE IN NUMBER.
NOT ONLY THAT, BUT EACH OF THE JEWELS REFLECTED IN THIS ONE JEWEL IS ALSO REFLECTING ALL THE OTHER JEWELS, SO THAT THERE IS AN INFINITE REFLECTING PROCESS OCCURRING. –Wikipedia Indra’s Net