Not far from where I live, the main street of my little town runs down a hill. Traffic picks up speed there, and only at night does silence fully settle in. When I meditate in early morning, the comings and goings of the vehicles is like the sighing of the ocean.
Now, I could resist this experience and be irritated by it. I could refuse to recognize that the sound is lovely, insist on focusing on the man-made origin, and try to hide from it. I could try to ignore the noise, mask it, or move. At the level of creation, I get to choose if that particular instrument plays in my experience.
All of experience is this way. You are one side of the duet. The Beloved and you make a song together, and that song is composed of all the sounds, sights, sensations, feelings, and thoughts that make up your experience. He picked and plays a song with you, and now you decide again each moment how you will sing.
When we sit in stillness and silence in meditation, we become increasingly aware of the duet. We can quiet ourselves enough to hear the song of creation vibrating without us up and down the hills, but just beyond that experience lies another – the realization that the song of creation is no different than us. What else is this temporal little bundle of flesh and consciousness that you inhabit than the totality of your experience in the current moment?
Of course, this little bundle of flesh and consciousness is not the experiencer – it is not the Witness. The experienced is the edge of attention, while the experiencer is the attention. The experienced is the various forms, the manifestations, of the whole and universal potentiality. So, while you can change the song and participate to more or lesser degrees in it, there is no difference between changing the song and changing the ears that hear the song. The meeting of the experiencer and the experienced flickers and morphs, yet it remains the same vast space of awareness thickening into physicality through attention.
So, sing and listen. Though we formulate all these ideals and approaches, though we imagine that the song is better or worse based on our acquired preferences for specific melodies, though we may find ourselves straining to hear ourselves or the Beloved at any specific point in the song… the orchestra plays on. You are a singer, an aspect and dimension of the One Singer, and you are the audience, an aspect and dimension of the One Witness. You are creation, an aspect and dimension of the One Creation, and there is no song without you.
Beyond that, pay attention to the Conductor. Surely you should sing the best you are able, but He nods at you when it is your turn to sing louder. His Hands guide you into making the song beautiful beyond any level of comprehension you can achieve. Do not spend your time thinking about the end of the song, should such a thing exist, or the difficult part coming up or just left behind. Move with the falling and rising of the song – you cannot sing creation by yourself, but your whole life you have been participating in creation. Every choice, everything you accept or refuse, every belief and thought is a note on the lovely little violin you play as the song goes on.
And, dear heart, it is lovely no matter how you play. All instruments are divine.