This has been my mantra recently.
Mantra often translates to mean, ‘to go out of (tra) your mind (man)’! With my familial concerns around insanity I resisted this definition, but now I fully accept it & see it for the brilliance it is. Through sacred sound we vacate the small, fixated mind & join with the largesse of mindfulness instead.
So my mantra lately has been Leaving Brings Poignancy to Presence. It’s what I’ve been feeling, experiencing, as I’ve been doing final handovers of my classes & the studio I “held” for 5 years. As I’ve weeded through my household of belongings & sold, donated or shared most of them in the past 6 months. (The experience of that I touched on in my I’m Dying. post) As I’ve hugged & toasted my whanau (Maori for family/tribe) in Wellington. And as I’ve made the colossal journey of wrapping up all my teaching of the past 14 years & put it online into myogafreedom.com
Recently I mentioned this mantra & my exhaustion in the process to someone & he said, “don’t leave then.” His response took me by surprise. Hadn’t occurred to me that I wouldn’t leave. I guess because it has been carrying this wider meaning for me–that it’s essentially inevitable. That, like my father always said, you’re Born to Die, so might as well face it & feel it. Maybe then we won’t be so afeared of it when the ultimate leaving comes.
So I wasn’t surprised when I learned that as my plane took off from Auckland, carrying me away from Aotearoa for a time, my grandfather took off from his body, carrying him from Earth for all time. We both were elevated beyond belief. I mean, flying is inconceivable to me even, or maybe especially, as I am flown.
So is dying.
My granddaddy was a bit vain & didn’t want people to know his age–he has had the looks & health of someone 20 years his junior for most of the 4 decades I’ve known him. So he didn’t want me to call him granddaddy. For some reason that I can’t recall, I started calling him Bullfrog instead. And he played along & called me Tadpole.
He taught me many things, not least of which was backgammon, a game that affords the playing field of testing out just what you might do with the fortune you roll. Yes, the dice matter, but it’s ultimately a matter of what you do with what you receive that matters the most.
You can just as easily lose a game having rolled the most amazing dice, as you can with difficult ones. Winning is the same. And what’s great about backgammon is that it never ends, really. Unless you quit.
Bullfrog also, indirectly, taught me to cultivate more of a poker face. Something I’m still pretty crap at, seeing as I have this highly sensitive nature & a plastic face that reflects feeling almost instantaneously. But he loved games, including how to push the buttons & pull the levers of other humans. Ah, this is her righteous-rage-button, now I know. Good card up my sleeve. Let me push that when she starts asking too many personal questions I don’t want to answer, to deflect. When I saw him last, though, I had deactivated all my buttons & levers & there was no game for him to play with me. It was interesting, illuminating, & a relief. For me at least.
When we played backgammon, we’d keep playing round after round until he was winning & then he’d decide we could stop for the night. Never quit–until you’re ahead. And if I had a piece on the bar & he had played a particularly good back game & I was not able to get back into the game right away, he’d say gleefully, “Didn’t get in!” every single time. Without fail. “Didn’t get in!”
So, so aggravating. So, so maddening. Nearly pushed my righteous rage button nearly every time. So, so clever of him to distract me from playing my best game, by goading me.
Yet when I saw him last I could have said the same to him–didn’t get in Bullfrog! Because there is no getting in anymore. I have so absorbed you that we are not separate.
So then maybe what my friend said–‘don’t leave then’–is truer than I realized. There is no leaving.
I am you & you are me & we are all together…
Though the reason this mantra has been rolling through me in waves, was that the physical acts of picking up & leaving allow me to see more clearly who & what I’m moving away from. And to feel the prick of that in my heart. (poignant comes from Latin pungere “to prick”) Yes, we are all one. That feels more real to me more & more. And somehow, simultaneously, I feel the signature of each individual more & more. Each one I know & love is irreplaceable. The value & impact of that knowing increases until I feel my heart no longer has boundaries, edges. Until I spill over into salinated shine, into effulgence.
Happy Holy-days to you & yours, in all realms.