Friday, March 2, 2012

A pure round sound

Among the presents I received in honour of making it around the sun one more time, was a small brass Tibetan singing bowl. Tapping it with its stick. Then slowly circling the wood round the outside edge of the bowl. The empty bowl produces a ring, a tone, a song.

How does such a full sound come from an empty bowl? This sound that fills my ears, and the space between with a song, emanates from an empty vessel. Because it is empty, it can do what it was made to do. 

To empty myself of what’s past. To empty myself of what might come. To empty my head of my precious worries. To empty my body and soul of the sting of mistakes I wear next to my heart like some kind of hair shirt. To empty my soul’s expectations of the good life I will achieve “some day” and instead remember to just live it now – right now.

How might I become like that bowl? How might I today greet the day’s light with a song of “thanks” in response to this striking gift of a new beginning. How will the Maker’s steady slow presence ring me round and round all day?

Instead of filling my head with the distractions that would muffle the song I’m made to sing, how might my intention be focused on each and every task as purpose-full, and right or wrong, done truly well. Could even my third call to the bureaucracy that’s screwed up my bill – still – be done in a way that the vibration of my soul is not diminished but reaches somehow - into that cubicle where the techno-slave struggles to make the beast obey and serve?

Instead of pushing away god’s hand from ringing me round with the stick, might I open my inner eye to the way this moment is presented for peace. For an opportunity to serve instead of fulfill?  To care-fully empty a bowlful of trouble with a healing smile or laugh. To turn quick judgment over in favour of an upside-down questioning. To receive whatever wisdom might come my way as if it were gift-wrapped, then pass it along, not trying to own what is freely given. 

Might I pause just long enough to hear the song my life is making right now. The song that lifts my thoughts to imagine what might be – or might have been. Thoughts that might teach me something if I wasn’t already too busy reducing those insights into hurts or fears? How might those same thoughts instead return round to pull from me from the pure round sound of joy this moment offers?

The pure round sound of an empty soul singing today’s new beginning. The song of glorious grace that communicates god - not so much to me - as through me. That though my past has shaped me, and my future might hurt or herald good or bad. That neither past or future make me. I am fashioned by the same hand that strikes the stick. I am made to sing. I am a vessel made to offer the invisible, unstoppable, vibrations of healing sound into this day.  

What more would I want? What could fill this bowl with a higher purpose? What? 

We must be willing to get rid of the life we planned so
    as to have the life that is waiting for us.

      Joseph Campbell
quote and photos borrosed from 
Richard Choe's

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