I am Practicing

Berkeley Zen Center
Berkeley Zen Center, 2018 || Kissiah Young

I know that it is not in vain. This is the truth of the way of my going. The path cannot lead to that which is void, but rather that which births fruit. I know fully that life lacks no-thing. It remains fertile even when the eye struggles to see how ripe the way of reality. It is not barren. The trees remain full, lush in their bounty, and the earth tender just so that we walk with ease. That is the way. That is the gift of life when we lean in again and again, and when we turn toward the hauntings rather than away.

For me, the edge remains close, so close that the breeze continues to threaten; yet beyond my knowing—beyond even that, my seeing—I am held, sustained, and carried as though magic is happening in every moment. It is. I am learning that magic doesn’t always feel as beautiful and comfortable as the results of its work. To be held, sustained, and carried does not mean to live inside of each moment as though having entered into the best day of one’s life. No. It is to continue to have enough that this day leads us into another without having fallen off the edge beside which we shake. We shake, yet we do not crumble. We hold on even to the thinnest of ice that the slippery slope not slide us over. It is our faith and our asking that gets us from this side where uncertainty brews, to the other where the view of freedom is an exhale never before released. Perhaps this is the essence of balance.

For the first time a couple of days ago, I entertained the thought of questioning my way, and yet something deep within wouldn’t fully allow the wondering. When the inner settled, truth had the loudest voice. After all, it isn’t over. I have yet to arrive at the other side, which means, I’m still journeying. The way isn’t always fun, but the love that feels like rays of sun showing through the cracks in the floorboard, assist me in living with joy and gratitude. I appreciate everything. I appreciate my appreciation, and my awareness thereof.  At times I am tired. Cultivating our intentions require a great amount of dedication and energy. It requires much of my inner working to stay present in my faith even when resources are few, and yet the sun shows up in the most perfect of moments. I allow myself to live fully inside these moments while practicing my way through the others. Faith is a practice. Life is a practice. Living on the precarious side of stability, is a practice. It is all a practice, and I am practicing.

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