Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A Matter of Balance

momento scuro
Originally uploaded by krethiplethi
… mental labels obscure to you the depth that there is
and the aliveness
and the sacredness
that there is in every living thing.
And ‘living thing’ includes what the mind calls dead things.
Living things includes everything because everything is alive,
even the stone.
If you looked into the stone you could see that there's an intense aliveness there. …It looks to us as impenetrable, solid, and dead but its not.
So no matter whether we conventionally call it a living thing,
realize that whatever you perceive is alive.
Eckhart Tolle, transcript from Omega Retreat

And often as I have my breakfast on the back deck, and look into the tree tops as the rising sun peaks through, I remember that Tolle also described the morning light as Love the day that he awakened.
Light is Love.

It makes me smile, though I don’t really see it.
Sometimes though, I’m ready to just accept what someone else reports.
And so it goes with rocks.

I mentioned, last time, that my summer fun is expanding my flagstone patio
(A.K.A. an attempt to cut down on the mud and dust and dirt Bennie carries into the house.)
But, too, I want to stack some cairns and so have gone online to learn something about this new endeavor.

Googling so often brings delight.
And so it goes with rocks:

Everything, rocks and other solid objects or
anything else, have their inua (inner person).
Anything that is made or created has an inua.
Hubert Amarualik, Inuit elder

And then there were these photos of rather incredible balancing acts,
Like the BeBalance Gallery.
And the reports of what the “balancers” experience as they perform their feats:

There is nothing complicated about balancing a rock upon another.
It is child’s play.
Yet, just as a simple rock can change into something of grace and beauty upon being balanced, I believe the same type of transformations happens to the person doing the balancing.
Perhaps it is in the rapt attention and focus that is required to do a challenging balance.
Whatever the cause, invariably I come away from a session of balancing rock with a sense of equanimity,
a feeling of balance that does not leave, even when a rock, so delicately poised,
slips away at the slightest breeze.
It is just part of the process.
However, I speak only from my own experience.
Perhaps you would like to see for yourself. Anyone can do it.
As I said, it is child’s play.
Jim Morlock

I also came by this fellow, who probably doesn’t call himself a Taoist, but certainly might qualify:

In working with stone I have come to realize that even the most seemingly inanimate aspects of nature are very much alive with energy.
It's been an amazing realization.
One that has been validated time and again.
John Knight

Well, my rocks arrived last Thursday.
All 4,454 pounds of them are here on pallets, around the side of the house,
waiting for me to carry them into the backyard.
I moved six the first evening – and then didn’t sleep a wink all night as an electric jolt shot down my left leg about every thirty seconds.
I’m going to have to take this whole project very slowly.

Go stack rocks.
Be patient.

Look down at what is there.
Wait for the first one to call you. It will.
Look at what you've done with the first one and then look for its mate.
Go stack rocks.
Bigger rocks are easier, but work with what you can hold at head level for five minutes.
There is a vertical line.
See it. Put weight there.

Be patient.
Go stack rocks.
Buddy Smith

In Japan, Tibet, and South Korea stones are stacked as the embodiment of prayer.
In Canada and Alaska, stones were used to build free-standing totemic figures called inukshuk.
Just last week, a fellow down the block added one to his front yard.
I’m so glad he did.
It proved to me I needn’t do that. I am searching for something a bit rounder, The Cairn and Buddha Belly.

It is almost mystical… to feel a sudden realization of an
improbable equilibrium.
The most unexpected alliances can be
achieved, and as you gently move the stone on top you can somehow
sense whether the two can make a happy alliance.
You try one way,
then another,
you feel it might just be possible,
then the most tiny of adjustments and it suddenly locks into place.
You begin to set fresh challenges for yourself,
and look for bigger and more improbable
stones to try…

Rock balancers speak of this “click” when two stones suddenly align and lock.
Somehow, I know that click. It’s been replaying in my mind the whole past week.
Click. Not unlike a lock and load…

Once, I received a birthday card, or was it a Valentine, with the caption:
Two coyotes lost in the moment as love returns to the Land of the Rock Balancing Mountains.
It seemed so fitting of our lives that we framed it and hung it in the bath for years.
And again, I have to smile.
Rock balancing mountains and lifetimes…

The whole thing is so ephemeral, and yet it has an appearance of permanence.
Sometimes the equilibrium is so fine that if it has been achieved
when one of the stones has still been wet from the stream,
it can be lost as the sun dries out the stone,
and you hear one that ten minutes ago was standing quite firm
suddenly tumble into the water again.

The only thing for certain is that this unique display is transitory.
A balancer from Barga, Italy.


Pincushion said...

I came through to this blog, through Kundalini Splendor - which I came across purely by 'chance'- (is there such a thing as chance?) for your two blogs are proving to be a great support to me - in my rather lonely spiritual journey....
so thank you for sharing and god bless..

Pat Bralley said...

Ah, not 2 mintues prior to finding your comment I had the thought to stop doing this blog. Spiritual journeys can be arduous and lonely, but I suspect they don't have to be as Totally alone as they sometimes feel.

Thanks so much for writing. You were "a great support to me"...too.

Pat Bralley said...

Oh yeah, "minutes" is spelled like that and not like "mintues" (which I suspect may actually be a small mint, dark chocolate covered, rather French, candy that exists only in my brain).

Pincushion said...

Thank you!:)

Pincushion said...

I love chocolate and so I think I will go with 'Mintues'!

Pat Bralley said...

painauchocolat... Yes, you do love chocolate!
And I enjoyed seeing your poems and blogs. Thanks.

Mary said...

Such a nice blog. I love balanced rocks. I have seen so many rocks over my lifetime and all are remembered indescriminately. However the ones that were balanced stand out in memory, in particular along the coast of Mackinaw Island.