Heart Opening Moments

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Be A Living Shrine

March-1-16

“The Divine does not like to be shut up in a building. The Divine likes to be out in the open. It is right here in this very body. Each one of us is a miniature universe, a living shrine.” – Morihei Ueshiba

When I started learning aikido, I read extensively about the founder of aikido and his philosophy. At that time I did not understand the true spiritual essence of aikido but I did feel the profound truth in his teachings that surpassed my intellect.  During that time, I would often experience a vivid reoccurring dream.

In my dream, O sensei would appear, floating in front of me, his white beard flowing freely in the wind; he would then smile, point to me, and tell me to build a shrine.

For many years I took the dream literally. When I inherited a dojo with exquisite traditional Japanese design, I worked tirelessly to keep our training space serene and pristine. We had a bamboo garden outside the dojo space, and a shrine inside. I would spend a whole day almost every week vacuuming all reachable corners and repainting walls. I would always light an incense everyday before class and send a prayer to O-sensei to thank him for his guidance. We eventually got a Torii (red gate shrine) installed at the entrance of the dojo.

Yet the reoccurring dream never stopped. Sometimes O-Sensei would laugh while touching his flowing white beard and tell me to build a shrine. And he never stopped pointing to me each time.

About a year ago that dojo closed and the desire to search for a new space for a dojo or build a shrine kept occurring in my thoughts. Yet something deeper inside me advised against it. I couldn’t logically understand what was happening but the dream just got more and more urgent. Something in O-Sensei was pointing toward me, not a space or a location but deeply inside ME.

Every morning I take a walk with my dog on the trails. During my walks I developed the tendency to listen to Mooji’s spiritual teaching pointing to the “I AM.” During this daily redirected awareness, the “I AM” prevails and the world drops away. The external world is no longer the source of my focus, and this body is no longer who I am, instead, I AM. I am “ALL” – a homogenous existence of undivided awareness, everything is me being experienced as a part of “ME”, things and events appear spontaneously as I – the watcher is observing all the happenings – untouched, untainted, and pure. When this is the state of “I”, all things are harmonious, it is the nature of all things, as no assistance from the little personal “I” is needed. When this is the state of “I”, no matter where my body takes me, peace is experienced, and peace is extended beyond this body.

Last night in my dream O -Sensei smiled and nodded his head.

Today, I’m sitting under the trees next to a fountain working in an outdoor coffee shop. I am witnessing the natural harmony that is occurring in my surroundings. This body is the shrine, not a thing out there. And to share this Art of Peace is by BEING the Art of Peace.

March 12, 2019 Posted by | Self Realization | Leave a comment