Just now, outside of my house in the middle of the day, the deepest stillness lays over the land.
Cars pass on the closest road, but their passage sounds like gentle waves. The birds sing quietly, almost to themselves. The lizards wander slowly about their errands. The trees stand in deep contemplation.
When I stepped outside, I drank deeply and was refreshed.
In your journey, seek out the places and times where the land becomes tender. And, when you find them, become a part of them, however briefly. Drinking deeply of these shifting temples restores you.
When we meditate and find ourselves resting in the space between thoughts, we bring this gentle rhythm to the land. The trees and lizards, the birds and bushes – they do this too. Anything can be the center of such a temple, yet everything within its boundaries is the same thing – there is no division to be found in the temples.
So long as all beings within them sit companionably, the temples endure.
When we drink deeply of the temples, we sense that the peace, love, and gratitude we inhale have been exhaled. We sense that the movements of grace are not random. But seeking beyond the temples dissolves them, so within the temples you must rest fully without striving. Like a fresh cup of tea given you by a loved one, let go of everything beyond the connection and the gift. Drinking deeply occupies the whole mind; the divided mind cannot exist in the temples.
Should you encounter a place where the land is tender, and should you become a part of that place, you will undergo a gentle rebirth. For a spell, all the past dissipates into non-existence, into the fragmentary residues of mind that it is. The future too does not exist in such stillness and silence. Only the breath, only gentle action, only fullness of existence – only everything.
Perhaps, if you step outside, you’ll find a place of such gentle beauty just on the other side of the door. Perhaps, not too far away at all, there is a temple where you too can drink deeply and be refreshed. There’s only way to find out, dear heart.