The Drunken Poet of Being

It all starts with movement. Every day, we move, but how do we move? Do we move to the inner workings of our arising Being nature, or do we move to the thoughts of our minds?

There’s a grace in leaning into what arises. What is in the field? That is what is. Once the mind draws back from its agenda of expectations–what should be–to what is, movement becomes fluid.

I dreamed recently that I was walking somewhere with a very drunk celebrity of some sort, let’s call him a poet. I could feel in every layer of my Being how delicious he felt, the way our bodies resonated with each other was like home. I felt my fingers touching his arm, his body along mine. It was a sort of rapture. Walking behind us was a tall, thin woman with her hair in a severe knot who kept leaning toward me saying “what are you doing? What are you doing?” And I said “It’s okay; I’m just playing with him.” And I meant that in the literal sense; we were at play. After that I woke up.

Recounting the dream later, I saw how the parts illustrated this concept of movement and expectation. Of Being and the desire to control Being. Being is the drunk poet with whom we can play in a delicious connection, and the mind is the severe voice of fear: what are you doing?

Of course, Being does not always arise in a way that is delicious. Just as often it arises in a way that is tortuous, or nauseating, or painful. Still, what I am realizing is that even this is a sort of gift. Once I lean into what is uncomfortable, there’s a kind of relaxation. I guess what I’m saying is that relaxation is relaxation. We can relax in a bed of feathers and we can relax on a bed of nails. Everything that we encounter is an experience. My teacher Allan Morelock recently said something along the lines that experience is Being’s way of showing it what it feels like to be alive.

This is an old teaching. It runs through most of the world’s great spiritualities: turn the other cheek, don’t create unnecessary suffering, understand that the world is illusion. And these teachings can be used either for good or for ill.

Awakening to our true Being nature gives us the continual opportunity to practice relaxation. What changes is not our experience of life but our relationship to those experiences. Relaxation is like surrender. You can’t “make” yourself–or anyone else more to the point–relax. It comes from within. It comes from a courageous heart.

There’s an important Vedic concept represented by the Sanskrit word: Hridayam. It’s a kind of onomatopoeia. Heart I am. Hridayam. That which nourishes the heart. We can best nourish the heart by feeding it what it needs.

There’s another old teaching. A sage told a boy that he had both a tiger and a lamb in his heart. Which is stronger, the boy asked? Whichever one I feed, he answered. So if you feed relaxation, relaxation will be stronger than resistance.

So when the Drunken Poet of Being shows up in the dream that is your life, walk with him. Relax. He knows where he is going.

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