Goddess of Love and Beauty
Her name was Alexandra; she was 21, a recent graduate of the UCLA creative writing program. I first saw her working in the garden; shovel in hand, next to the temple at Green Gulch Farm, a Zen community near Muir Beach, California. Her presence and strange beauty immediately struck me. She had full lips, penetrating dark brown eyes and long, beautiful hair that rolled down her back in thick brown waves. She wore a band of small skulls around her neck made of bone reminding her, or me, of “impermanence” and such things. We both felt a strong attraction for one another and began taking walks together along the cliffs overlooking the crashing waves of the California coastline. In the evenings we played psychic games, guessing each other’s thoughts, and images of objects we created in our minds. The feeling of "love" or perhaps infatuation was welling inside us and we started planning a post retreat trip, to a cabin in the woods, near Mendocino.
The last week of our 10-week retreat was done in silence. Women were on one side of the temple and the males on the other. We would throw secret glances at each another and feel the warmth of knowing glowing in our hearts. Sometimes between sittings I would place a flower petal on her cushion, she a small pine cone on mine. We never spoke. During one of the breaks I found a small bouquet of wildflowers outside my room. Another time a rolled paper scroll, tied with a gold bracelet, a lock of her hair inside, along with a beautiful love poem. I was blissed out, imagining our upcoming adventures together in her little hippy-artist cabin up the coast, surrounded by towering ancient redwoods. I looked forward in longful anticipation to kissing her, making love, holding each other for hours. I was beginning to feel bored with the long hours of sitting meditation.
After one of the breaks, I went back to my cushion and looked fondly across the room to see if she was there. The cushion sat empty and a moment of anxiety and fear passed thru my body, but only a moment. I imagined she was having a talk with one of the teachers, or something. My mind rationalized and I went back to fantasy and Bliss. The next sitting I once again looked across the temple and saw a stranger in place of where my sweet Alex had been just moments before. I did not recognize the person, until she turned her head. It was Alex and she looked completely different. I was stunned. She had cut off all her hair and was totally bald. At first I hoped for the recognition of the blissful feelings to return. The love, the warm glow of infatuation, it was not there, it had vanished into thin air. I was devastated and went into deep despair and began sobbing uncontrollably. I experienced a kind of death. The bliss never returned and I felt at first like a shallow male that had only been attached to the notion of beauty and a "handful of hair". Where had the love gone? What did this mean? How dare she take that feeling away from me! How could she? Then I had an “awakening” and realized the illusory nature of all things and that everything changes. From this experience I have learned how to be more present, to not attach so strongly to the dream-like things in my life, the jumble of plans, grief’s, obsessions, joys, comparisons, and amusements. None of them wrong, but the accumulation of which, with no respite, makes me suffer. ~ Bodhi Shivashaktipat
In my hallucination I saw my beloveds flower garden In my vertigo, in my dizziness, in my drunken haze Whirling and dancing like a spinning wheel I saw myself as the source of existence. I was there in the beginning and I was the spirit of love Now I am sober There is only the hangover And the memory of love And only the sorrow I yearn for Happiness I ask for help I want mercy And my love says: Look at me and hear me cause I am here, just for that I am your moon and your moonlight too I am your flower garden and your water too. I have come this way eager for you Without shoes, or shawl I want you to laugh To kill all your worries To love you To nourish you Oh sweet bitterness I will soothe you and heal you I will bring you roses I, too, have been covered with thorns. ~ Rumi
There is some kiss we want with our whole lives, the touch of spirit on the body. Seawater begs the pearl to break its shell. And the lily, how passionately it needs some wild darling! At night, I open the window and ask the moon to come and press its face against mine. Breathe into me. Close the language- door and open the love window. The moon won't use the door, only the window. ~ Rumi
One Day God Arrives
You are a child of the garden of love. Life is a garden of love, and the moment we forget it, we go astray. The moment we forget love, we fall from grace. That's the original sin. If one can remain loving, and loving becomes one's very quality, then there is no need for any other religion. Love is enough unto itself, because prayer grows out of it on its own accord. He himself comes seeking the heart that loves. And one day God arrives -- one need not go in search of him.
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
DON"T LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP
July 27, 1978