• eric aspen marley

Sand. Stones. Storms. Soul.

When we are infants, our soul is open to all sunshine, and it flows through our bodies like water. We are held and warm. We are pure light, and we radiate the love of Creator through our eyes.

Our bodies are new, and noisy in their demands. Clunky and stiff in relation to our souls, they are new mechanisms and not easy to learn.

We are in this new vehicle in a vast desert, and we are happy to be here.

And then we begin to grow. Life happens to us, and for us. Sandstorms begin to alight upon and blow through us, the events that make up a human existence.

Sometimes, the storms can be severe.

Occasionally, some bits of sand lodge here and there. Our souls know how to process it. Most of it, not all. Some bits get stuck. Our souls, old and wise, know how to funnel these small bits to one of several energy centers on our bodies called “chakras,” in some traditions.

Over time, these small bits, these ideas about who we are and the nature of reality, attract other bits of sand, other emotionally charged experiences. While our souls know what to do with them, our bodies – new to us – do not. So, they store these little ideas about ourselves, these conclusions about what we are.

Eventually, the mind begins to think for itself. This happens for most of us around seven or eight years of age. About the same time, certain “flavors” of experiences have become common to us and the mind begins to identify more with them than it does with the eternal soul.

And ego is born.

To the extent that we learn early that ego is nothing more than a temporary idea, the mind can assist the body and soul in their processing. We can learn to release these ideas, and return to identification with the eternal parts of ourselves rather than with the temporary, mortal parts of ourselves.

If we do not learn these things early, however, we identify with them more and more. Eventually, the soul is a soft breeze in the background of the noisy demands of one or, most likely, many egoic voices.

These egos are now like little stones that lie in our chakras, especially the first three. To complicate matters, our minds have by now stepped in front of soul, taking over the job of processing the sandy experiences. This is something it is unable to do alone. Nor was it intended to. Our bodies struggle to keep up, because the spinning mind frequently brings even more emotion to past experience than what was initially present for us. These emotionally charged experiences are then funneled with increasing velocity to the chakras.

Sometimes this accumulation in the chakras bring illness; cancer, emotional or mental breakdowns, spiritual and social contraction. All from an innate inability of our mind, body and soul to work in balance to process these sandy experiences.

As the physical world is the product of our collective ethereal or spiritual world, this unbalance would lead inevitably to the destruction of the physical world just as it does the inner world. We are beginning to see that now in increasing ways.

Fortunately, ancient mindfulness techniques have become increasingly common among humankind. These techniques can help us to see, for the first time, the stony egos that have built up.

These teachings are like desert rains.

Have you ever noticed how sweet the air smells after a desert rain? The sage exhales relief from the masculine sun and their roots reach a fraction deeper into Pachamama’s fertile soils. And the water is drawn into the roots to preserve the life of the sage for another day. And the air is the sweetest perfume.

If we are not mindful, the rain washes off our ego stones, which then dry and are not much affected.

If we are mindful, however, a tiny fraction of that water, those teachings, penetrate into one or more of these stones. Seeing this, our souls want more. Our souls remember that time when we were new here and all love flowed effortlessly through our bodies.

It senses the pure air, and it wants it again.

So, how do we get more rain on our stony, often beautiful, little egos? How do we flood our lives with this clean scent that brings such joy to our senses and opens us to the world like a desert blossom? The answer lies in daily practice and ceremony.

When we have a daily practice, we control the weather. We can bring the rain.

And with consistent rain, enough water can begin to penetrate the stony egos, break them up, and return them as the sand they were initially meant to be. They become little experiences again, rather than rocky ideas. We are able to release them from the thought that they are “real,” and see them simply as “experience.”

And then who do we become? If we are not our ideas about ourselves, what are we? We become soul again. We self-identify in increasing ways as primarily soul and secondarily a human that uses ego merely to play here in this world.

This takes time. It takes consistency. And it takes humility, which brings the ability of the temporary mind to be taught by the eternal soul.

By and by, we are able to see primarily through the eyes of soul. We see this in the very old, sometimes. When they look back on their lives and understand what was important to them, they are often able to release some of the old stories the mind once insisted were true. Peace returns to them.

But in an age where all information is at our fingertips, we don't have to wait for mortal illness to attain this peace. We can find the rain. We can control the cloudbursts.

We do this with daily practice.

If we are consistent enough, we can learn how to release identification with ego earlier in our lives. Doing so, we can live more soulfully. We can be humans using ego embodied by soul, rather than humans soullessly embodied by ego.

This is what it takes to live in peace with ourselves and with the world in general. This is what it takes to heal the planet and all life upon her, including humanity. This is the great renewal that was prophesied.

I am for the rain, and the desert sun.

I am for sand that blows through my body, creating in my human experience amazing sunrises and sunsets against the backdrop of an expansive sky.

I am for sage that sinks her roots deep into Mother Earth, and for the scent of cleansing rains.

I am for ancient mindfulness teachings, and for eyes that once again exhale pure love.

I am for love, and I am for peace.

May it be so in my actions, and throughout all humanity.

(artwork by Zefisheye)

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