Just Being

Yesterday I had the privilege of being part of a Native American Pipe Ceremony.

The setting was a beautiful piece of the Blue Ridge Mountains on a breezy Spring afternoon. Every element conspired to raise us all up to a high level of awareness.

We all wandered off to experience the mountain in our own ways — I was drawn to the small pond a little ways from our circle.

I stood by the water, just being: feeling the breeze against my face, the slight moisture from the earlier showers; hearing the high cry of a hawk, the drumming of a woodpecker, the creaking of branches against one another; inhaling the sweet tang of apple blossom; seeing the young reeds dancing in the water ripples. 

Just being: part of it all, feeling it all, loving it all.

What a blessed day!

The Osho Zen Tarot card Experiencing, captures the day perfectly.

You just look around, look into the eyes of a child, or into the eyes of your beloved, your mother, your friend – or just feel a tree. Have you ever hugged a tree? Hug a tree, and one day you will come to know that it is not only that you have hugged the tree but that the tree also responds, the tree also hugs you. Then for the first time you will be able to know that the tree is not just the form, it is not just a certain species the botanists talk about, it is an unknown God – so green in your courtyard, so full of flowers in your courtyard, so close to you, beckoning you, calling you again and again.
  aaaaa                 [from] Osho Dang Dang Doko Dang Chapter 2
An “experience” is something that can be filed away in a notebook, or captured on film and pasted into an album. ‘Experiencing’ is the feeling of wonder itself, the thrill of communion, the gentle touch of our connectedness with all that surrounds us.
The woman in this card is not just touching this tree, she is in communion with it, she has almost become one with it. It is an old tree, and has seen many hard times. Her touch is gentle, reverent, and the white on the inside of her cape reflects the purity of her heart. She is humble, simple – and that is the right way to approach nature. Nature doesn’t bang any drums when it bursts forth into flower, nor play any dirges when the trees let go of their leaves in the fall. But when we approach her in the right spirit, she has many secrets to share.
If you haven’t heard nature whispering to you lately, now is a good time to give her the opportunity.

5 thoughts on “Just Being

  1. Don’t know much about the card, but I do like the Buddhist quality of simply being.

    Let me open myself to a tree the next time I see one. In all humility and silence. I’ll share the moment with the birds and animals in the wilds outside my Philadelphia, Pa, area home.

    Thanks for the suggestions.

    michael j

  2. I somehow found your blog and read your latest post. I have never been to a Native American Pipe Ceremony – that must be something. I have been posting on our stay at the Cherokee Indian Reservation in North Carolina, actually I wrote 7 posts on it, the last one this week. It’s great to go there.

    • Thanks for writing. My home is about an hour and a half from the Qualla Boundary — I’m out there sometimes in the course of my work, and there are some amazingly beautiful spots — some right in the middle of town. The pipe ceremony was a private one, and very special. It was led by a dear friend who is a Lakota-trained shaman. She guided us through a simple and moving ritual and I’m really grateful to have had the experience.

      Thank again.

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