Hello 2013


For me the tag end of the year has dragged on a bit, this lower intestinal thing that I don’t quite shake, overtook me toward the end of a happy new year/surprise co-educational bridal shower for some very dear friends, and made my drive home (two hours ahead of the magic moment) a bit of an adventure, a dash, as it were over the snow and ice. Amazing how one can long for a visit to the bathroom…

And it is with those somewhat jaundiced eyes I look out at the new year, my spouse in far away California for the week, the American economy in chaos, wars and violence more flowing than ebbing, people in my life I care about in various conditions but some in situations more than precarious.

There is joy here. No doubt.

And a little hard to see for the sadness.

But, in the moment, a pointer.

One of the most important koan in my life is case two in the Wumenguan.

In that apt case with so much to it, a particularly important moment for me was reading that lovely line in Wumen’s sermon suggesting how with our full on embrace of the great mess, held with open hearts and open hands rather than crushing the life of it all, we find even birthing as a fox five hundred times, it will be, no, it is five hundred lives of grace.

I know this is true.

And it is my new years wish for myself: to body remember it.

And it is my wish for my friends: to body know this.

And it is my wish for all of us sharing space on this tiny ball spinning through the great night.

As we rise and fall alone and together, that we live into the heart of the matter.

Hold everything spaciously.

And find those lives of grace.

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  • Mike Fieleke

    What a beautiful post, James. Something about the way the edgeless world holds even our sadness is itself a life of grace.


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