Saturday, June 27, 2009

I'm Back

A Saturday morning. I'm alone in my apartment, still in my nightgown. I've got a hot cup of Tetley's tea with half-and-half and honey on my mouse pad. I've got folk music streaming on the computer. My friend, with whom I've been sharing this apartment since March is 1700 miles away, taking care of business and cutting deals. Her kids are with their father. The semester is over, and though I'm still cleaning up my shambles of a classroom, I've turned in my keys and I won't go back in to clean and organize until Monday. I'll start my summer school syllabus then also.

Right now, for the first time in months, I've got time to write.



It's not like I haven't got plenty of things to write about. I just don't want to write about them right this minute. Those topics will provide fodder for the rest of the summer.

Right now, though, I'm thinking about a story:

One day, Brahma, the creator, whose being, as Atman, informs all things, decided to take human form and visit the World. As he strolled through the forest, he found a Brahmin seated in profound meditation - so profound, in fact, that anthills had grown two cubits tall all around him. When the Brahmin sensed the presence of the deity, he bowed and said,
"Brahma-Ji, I am honored and humbled by your divine presence. May I be so bold as to ask you a question?"

"Most certainly," said Brahma, "What would you know?"

"I have meditated in this spot so long that anthills two cubits tall have arisen all about me. I believe I am close to enlightenment. O Brahma, how many more lifetimes must I live before I achieve Moksha, before I am released from this world?"

"You have four more lifetimes before you," said Brahma gently.

The Brahmin burst into tears of grief and frustration, but composed himself and thanked Brahma.

Brahma continued on his way. He walked until he met another Brahmin, this one a fool who played a flute and danced beneath a banyan tree. When this Brahmin saw Brahma, he threw down his flute, jumped up and down, and then went to his knees in joy.

"Brahma-Ji! I am so happy to see you!"

Brahma said nothing but smiled.

"Brahma-Ji," said the Foolish Brahmin, "May I ask you a question?"


"Brahma-Ji, how many more lives will I have before I reach Moksha and release?"

"How many leaves do you think are on this banyan tree?"

The Foolish Brahmin leapt to his feet and quickly surveyed the branches above him. "Oh, there must be twenty thousand leaves, Brahma-Ji."

"That is the number of lifetimes you must spend before you achieve enlightenment and release."

The Foolish Brahmin gaped at the leaves for a second, and then a joyous smile spread across his face. "Is that all? Oh thank you, Brahma-Ji!"

Brahma then replied, "You have already achieved Moksha."

I thought of this story yesterday, in reading Lori's post. Many wisdom tales point out that sometimes we search so hard for our heart's desire that we don't realize we've already achieved it.

It's good to be back at this.

Love and joy to you all.