I’ve just returned from a road trip through the wilds of the Utah canyon lands, touring and exploring the vast landscapes. Being in the presence of the deep cracks in the earth, layers of rock and wide open skies reconfirmed for me that abundance does not mean having a surplus of luxuries, success or approval. It’s not a product of gaining something that is not already yours.
As excited as I was to be on the open road, ready for whatever we came across, admittedly I also spent much of the time, and my energy, anticipating the next jaw dropping vista that would confirm the glory and magnitude of life. Utah does not disappoint- I enjoyed breathtaking view after breathtaking view.
However when we were in our last leg, on the home stretch, an exhaustion descended heavily upon me. It wasn’t just feeling tired from the travel and all the new impressions, it was a feeling that after all I had taken in I still hadn’t got what I came for. I understand now that even though I was traveling to the canyons, I had expected the canyons to come to me. They were meant to inspire me and fill me up with their beauty and light as if my only function as a human being was to consume. I wasn’t recognizing that I am also in that place and time to offer my presence, my own light and radiant attention. In this dual world the point of contact, the meeting point, has infinite potential for vitality, growth and transformation when you bring yourself forward.
The truth is, even the greatest experiences (sometimes specifically the greatest experiences) will leave you feeling empty in the end if there is not a moment when you register the exchange that has taken place, that your witnessing, participation and engagement is exactly what you will receive in return. What you ‘get’ is a hit of your own self. You don’t actually acquire anything that is outside of yourself. Otherwise what truly can be gained? One is left only with the glimmer of a fading memory.
Luckily, in that moment of feeling depleted and spent, we came out of the heights of the mountains on to Southpark Pass, a long, wide open valley where it is commonplace for the sun to split stunningly through the clouds, reaching itself in all directions. We pulled off the road once more and got out of the car. I saluted the sun, the birds, the winding river, the cows, the tall grass and the breeze. I saluted, embraced, connected and felt gratitude for being the witness of this luminous whole. My own light met and melded with that of the sun and the surroundings. I was filled with the presence of my own self reaching into the space and I was rejuvenated. Nothing was lacking, I had once more received my own self, abundance was mine.
Happy Gurupurnima to all! Gurupurnima is the full moon of July, which honors the forces in life that exist for the sake of revealing to us our luminous self.