Hunger is the worst of diseases ~ the Buddha

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Elixir of Plain Tap Water: Happy World Water Day!

Our waters are our fluid anchor to this world—to this very body. The meta (and metta) boat of love & growth only sails by the graciousness of its cleansing expanse.

So, in honor of World Water Day, and after a very long time dry here, I thought I'd simply share a daily practice of mine.
Adapt the recipe as you like; it's not original, just another form of the water offerings found across the world.

Every day, I fill this little cup (don't think I don't love the wordplay of "Anchor") from the well and place it on my kitchen-ledge to remind me all day: "just this much clarity about my part in things," "just this much."
If I can look the water in the eye at night as I do the dishes, then this is a good day.

The cup sits and catches the sun all day. It catches the soundwaves of my clinking-spoons and coffee cups busy-ness, my keyboard clatter, and my incessant knife-sharpening.
I'm sure eternal ants crawl across the lip, taste and keep to their tasks, and a mote or two of farmhouse dust wafts by.

The cup sits all night: clarity's sentinel.

In the morning when I get up, before anything else, I drink the contents in the cup--a day in the life, distilled-- very, very slowly and deliberately, reflecting on and drinking in the whole world in the cup. The hardest piece is ALLOWING myself to drink it. Why is it so hard to quench myself honestly?
Allowing the water to purify me is sometimes difficult--but doable. Allowing myself to know I deserve this, that there is no separation between me and the water. Being clear on the fact that I can be fully present today. That it's a choice, no matter how turbulent everything outside that cup seems, to remain in the still pool inside.

And so we start all over again every day with this choice: empty cup, empty dinner plate, empty calories that are entirely our choice about how to fill.

This can be a very powerful, though seemingly very small, practice.
Delicious poet (and master cook) William Blake said sweet delight comes when:

[We] see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

I am finding that just 150 ml of this intention works pretty well, too.
And, whatever you water, grows.

So often in the past I have watered the seeds of my own fear, anxiety, dis-ease!
But the tide is turning, gentles. Slowly and irrevocably (in an impermanent way).

So this practice helps when I'm feeling overwhelmed by negativity--when it all starts feeling like open waters (not the good kind). I remind myself that even those tsunami events and people who appear to oppose us, who are what Joseph Campbell beautifully (and euphemistically) termed "threshold guardians," are made up of 70% water--and so,100% light.

When you hang out cooking in the contemplative kitchen with the greenhouse window long enough, you start to wonder how it is you never really thought all that deeply on where the light was coming from. The good news is, every morning, if you're lucky, you get another chance to notice--to look around and look up.

What if I told you that I'm pretty sure, after all of my experiments in the kitchen-mind--my soaring souffles and my dead-weight pancake-flops--that this holy grail, this phantom elixir that we are all after on this journey, is actually nothing more than what comes from our own wells?

It's a heck of a wellspring-board into choice, then.