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Reckoning with Invisible Deities (Part Two)


Lama Willa Miller reflects on how the coronavirus she calls a Dark Goddess has shattered our illusions of separateness in a world where everything leans. “Yours is a long song of interbeing.”
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In this second evocative meditation by One Earth Sangha guiding teachers, Lama Willa Miller expresses both awe for the power of the coronavirus to disrupt our lives, leaving us “dancing with uncertainty,” and appreciation for its teaching. “Goddess of uncertainty, you grind my plans to dust, throwing me back into the now.” In case you missed it, see part one of this series by Thanissara.

This morning, walking from my house in Boston to a local park, I rounded a corner at the top of the street to a mother pushing her daughter in a stroller. One delicate hand drew the mask up.

She approached and we shared a tell: eyes meeting, creases, a slight nod.

I’m sorry. Feeling you, me, us. The unsaid floats a silent trail behind us, intertwining as we pass. The rising in my throat just short of tears, a tenderness that visits like an angel.

In the park a morning dove coos slow sonnets. Trees sway against a sky soft as silk. Warm air surrounds, whispering redemption. This earth’s rejoicing cannot be missed. To hear it is a secret pleasure.

In the world of humans, uncertainty dances. It flits in the shadows of the white pines at the crest of the park’s highest hill. It shines in the eyes of parents around the pond watching their children play. They seem to play and laugh as always. Almost.

Everyone in the park breathes uncertainty together, in and out, the respiration of truth. In and out. These are the days of sheltering in place. The days of asking deep questions. The days of no plans, no future.

Uncertainty, I must confess your presence unsettles me, like a dark goddess. Yet how can I not bow down?

You remind me of my grasping. When my hand reaches, there is just light and emptiness. This fist closes on nothing and I lose all balance. Daily.

Uncertainty, may I sing to you? You turn me towards the truth, the one we spend our days avoiding. The future is a fiction. No one has ever traveled there and come back saying this is how it is.

You reveal the obvious, our lives were lived asleep.

Goddess of uncertainty, you grind my plans to dust, throwing me back into the now. Rich and true territory this, where sounds radiate and colors sing. May I listen long enough for my heart to bloom and then to break with tenderness.

Dark goddess, you shatter the illusion of separateness. Two apart cannot stand, can no longer survive in a world where everything leans. Yours is a love song of interbeing.

Uncertainty, you take me deeper, shaking loose the conceptual mind. It cannot thrive in your air, where nothing has ever been known, is not known now and never will be known. The Great Not Knowing is your lover, where the wisdom lives. May I trust the freefall. Teach me to be groundless. Teach me not to know.

Dark Mother, you unite us. Now no one can escape your gaze. Your fierce teachings bind us all as creatures of the earth. The winged, scaled, clawed, hoofed and tailed, one family. Roaring songs of truth, please remind me always from wild I come and to wild I will return.

Read Part One of this series here.

Picture of Lama Willa Blythe Baker

Lama Willa Blythe Baker

Lama Willa Miller is the Founder and Spiritual Director of Natural Dharma Fellowship in Boston, MA and its retreat center Wonderwell Mountain Refuge in Springfield, NH. She is Visiting Lecturer in Buddhist Ministry at Harvard Divinity School. As a writer and editor, her work has been published in Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, Buddhadharma, and the Tibet Journal. Willa’s teaching interests include compassion, non-dual embodiment and contemplative care. Lama Willa is a guiding teacher of One Earth Sangha.
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