I’m spending some days on the beautiful west coast of Denmark, in Agger, before my ‘real’ vacation begins this Saturday in Norway. Lots of sun, sand, and silver in my hair.
I have a place in the woods that I go to almost every day while here. I even have my own tree I sit by – my partner calls it my Buddha tree – where I have a habit of marveling at the meaning of ‘instant meaning’ – so, no meaning – which is basically part of a practice of meditation without effort that I engage in when I just sit in pure awareness.
While sitting there today, and philosophizing on the impermanence of things – this I do as part of the other practice that is equally instant as it’s always permanent, and as it rests on the philosophy of ‘this too shall pass’ – I look up at the tree in front of me.
While I behold the sight of it, I think of a small ceremony ten minutes earlier, honoring the full moon, and taking place on top of the sand hill at a crossroads in the woods. I also think of my prayer for crystal clarity – I like the experience of truth that is never untrue.
So this is what happens. While I share my prayer with my partner and the she-dog goddess Frigg, my prayer for clarity, that is, I look up at the tree right across my Buddha tree, and see that it’s split in the middle, the split forming a new top: ‘Whoa,’ I go, and then experience this thought befalling me: Everything is transient.
It then happens that I think about just how significant this thought is as it relates to my prayer. I think the dog saw this one coming, the profundity, that is.
I praise the gods of the woods and all others, including the full moon, for my instant illumination – which happens everyday, the illumination, that is – but since I don’t hold any beliefs whatsoever, and that includes believing in time, such realizations hit me as if for the first time – I actually like this about myself very much, as it keeps me out of the trouble that is called modern neurosis and paranoia over all kinds of speculations whose function is to my waste time (time that I don’t believe in, so help me god, and you had better believed that this belief is quite strong in me…)
About this moment Frigg looks up at my split tree, and makes a funny face. This is what I call ‘The 16th Karmapa face’ (the late holder of the Tibetan Kagyu lineage, which I happen to know something about) – I like to say that I have a thing for the Karmapa’s Black Hat (the emblem of the lineage), and then some stories about ravens, the Hopi Indians and the Tibetans, and weather magic – I like stories.
So I ask Frigg: ‘Is the Karmapa here?’ – he has a way of showing up at my Buddha tree in the middle of nowhere in Denmark (such is the life of magic), and Frigg always knows it before I do. She goes, ‘woof’, confirming the Karmapa’s presence.
‘Oh, how cool, I go, and hurry to shuffle my cards and pose this question: ‘What say you today, your holy eminence, the dead, transcended, and reincarnate master, the 16th Karmapa, beholder of the Black hat and master of magic that knocks my socks off?’
Holy, holy, the Karmapa decides to ride on my illumination: Everything passes. All is impermanent. That is the truth and nothing but the truth, which – indeed, given the nature of impermanence, rendering the truth exactly nothing, as truth doesn’t exist in its impermanent form, which is also without form, impermanence, that is – is non-existent.
Are you there yet? I mean you, the reader, for you see, I kind of dropped my jaw and lost my breath in paradox when I saw my cards – it also happens all the time – but then, given the Karmapa’s guidance I always manage to come back from my experiences of vertigo. So I know at least why I like trees…
Let’s see the cards more concretely, embodying the 16th Karmapa on the full moon in Capricorn, ruled by Saturn, and conjunct Lilith:
Situation: Force, Justice, Death
Do: The World
Don’t do: The Lovers
You struggle with the truth, but all dies. Including your own beliefs in your own passing thoughts – how idiotic is that, to ever entertain any beliefs in my own thoughts, lord have mercy on my soul? – I ask myself this all the time, given Solomon’s wisdom.
Do recognize the top fullness of being, such as it is in attendance and part of everything. See the goddamn ‘global’ picture of the World, the ‘all is one’ of all the sages.
Don’t fall into the bottom pit of the dualist trap: ‘This one, or that one?’ – oh the nastiness of the Lovers card.
What can I say, if I don’t hold any beliefs, at least I can say that I love some things: cards, masters, dogs, trees, and partners who listen and nod.
Enjoy your full moon magic, and keep going.