Gloriosity is a word I made up—a neologism if you like—as a collective noun for when there's a bazillion robins on the lawn. A gloriosity of robins. I use it today because today is a gloriosity: just sitting here listening to the birds, looking at the blue sky, feeling the perfect breezes on my skin, enjoying all the plants flowering, the first butterfly drifting over the garden, trees leafed out again, it is all glorious. Tigs and I just lounging, being still, enjoying the quiet life feels glorious.
Practicing stillness for awhile now has really shifted my ability to be in the gloriosity with little provocation—and on a Monday no less! Tuning in to the oneness is easy when it's all around, singing its song of beauty, truth and wonder. Good old John Keats famously wrote the lines Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all / Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. He had an exceptional ability to tune into the oneness, which he called negative capability. He'd just hang out by a tree, a bird, an urn, and let his edges blur until he became the tree, bird, urn. It's a merging thing.
Thing is, when you allow yourself to do that, you can rest in the nature of alaya. That's a lojong slogan I invoke more and more these days. Alaya means the essence. These trees, these leaves moving in the light breeze, these birds singing in the forest, all are resting in their true nature, their essence. They do it 24/7. No one told them not to. Hanging out with them makes it so easy to let go of ordinary consciousness and let my edges blur into oneness.
What does that do, you wonder? It looks like nothing, like doing nothing, which in some circles is thought of as wasting time. Like sitting zazen, it's not a spectator sport, but it is spectacular in what it does. I'd go so far as to say being is the new doing. Although it isn't new at all.
Shamans and wise women and sages and all sorts have been quietly being, focusing intent, connected to the oneness, rapt in the jiva—a line from an old poem I'm gonna re-use, starting now—as long as humans have walked this little blue planet. What it does in utilitarian terms is invisible but palpable, both within the individual and in the fields surrounding them. Like these two dogwoods, blooming before me. They are beaming out their essence and it is glorious. I'm sitting here resting in their essence and we are resonating together. If I did have any concerns, I don't now.
A week ago, ten women practiced this at our afternoon retreat, and were so naturally calm and connected that two horses who lived in the pasture we were in felt enough at ease to both lie down together—something their owner brought to our attention as rare indeed.
If you are in a cycle of hurrying and worrying, it can be tough to drop all that even for a few minutes, being out of practice. These beautiful warm spring days offer a super boost because they're just so damn fine.
Leave the litany of sorrows and outrages on the feed that ping your pain body, and wander outside for a playdate with truth and beauty. That is all ye need to know on earth.