I See You. I’m With You.

Finally. Sitting down. Breathing deep. Going back in time, into the transformative 10-day intensive with fellow Shambhala warriors, deepening into the Work That Reconnects, led by our beloved teacher/friend/elder Joanna Macy.

It’s been three full days since I returned home from that magical land. I am still vibrating in an altered state of being/consciousness, with a shame-free humility and awe, a new-found curiosity for other ways of knowing/healing/being, and a renewed commitment to serve life on Earth.

Overwhelmed with gratitude, the unknown, and excitement, I struggled to concentrate on work in the past few days. I felt that going back to the “old life” so quickly could not do justice to the transformation and learning that had just happened. I feel like there is a song wanting to be sung, but there’s no space yet to let it out; thus, the reluctant singer is frequently choked up by the bursting song.

Finally. Now, in a brief window between life’s commitments, I could let that song start to flow through.

What’s most alive for me now, is a whole new dimension(s) that has opened up. Among them are:
  • somatic work, embodied practices, movements, theater 
  • rituals and ceremony, rites of passage, initiation, ancestral connections 
  • medicine work, sacred plants, shamanic herbs, ayahuasca 
  • Earth connections, nature immersion 
  • men’s circle, soul work
All of these new (to me) doorways into deeper knowing/being help us to reconnect with ourselves, with each other (including non-human beings, ancestors, future beings), and with the Earth. They are what’s needed to heal a deeply disconnected people.

I am still in shock as all these new doorways slammed open within a short 10 days. Also in shock of my (willful or unconscious) ignorance -- if not dismissiveness -- of these different modalities until now in my life. Overwhelmed by the amount of learning -- not to mention the unlearning! -- I have to do. Grateful that the Universe has shown me these possibilities before my 24th birthday, so that, time permitting, I can devote myself to re-education and sharing of the work that truly reconnects.

Now, I finally started to understand why this work is called the Work That Reconnects. For so long, I simply was not aware of how disconnected I was.

This new world is messy. I have noticed frequent fatigues in me as I was “being cracked open.” My old self longs for the devil I know. It cried, “Oh, bring me back into the Matrix; bring me back into a sterile room in glass building to talk about growing profits; bring me back into the industrial growth society and mindset where there is one right answer and one right way to think -- and one final authority, for God’s sake! Things are so clear and simple in the Matrix!”

I almost couldn’t handle this new world where “everything seems relative,” as the old self would simplistically term it. I almost didn’t want to go on this unknown journey, where I am an utter beginner again, not able to draw upon any of my old stockpiles of capableness, because they belonged to a different dimension. I am a newborn baby again.

The widening circles of the 10-day came in waves. The waves were getting stronger and stronger, and finally broke my grey, concrete dam on the very last morning. The day before, in our men’s circle, as we put arms around our brothers and slowly swayed to the beating of our hearts, I shared my 1-line intention of becoming a better man in the Great Turning: to try to learn to cry.

“Ask, and you will receive.”

In our closing ritual, as my palms joined in front of my chest, and my eyes followed Joanna as she stood in front of each person, and they looked deeply into each other’s eyes, tears streamed down my face, unstoppably. Each person, everybody, they are so beautiful! Oh, how much pain and joy their hearts have known! How many gifts they have brought -- and will bring -- to a broken world! How honestly and earnestly they have stepped up to their calling! How much work remains to be done, inside and out, and how hard the road ahead will be! How magical that I am reunited here with my Bodhisattva siblings, long-lost fellow Shambhala warriors! We are not alone. May we all find peace, and create peace.

I hear you. I see you. I’m with you.


Kozo Hattori said...

I hear you, see you, am with you, as well, Zilong. We are one. I honor the awakening you are experiencing. I am inspired by your courage and commitment. I shed tears of brotherhood and compassion watching you embrace your beginner's mind. A new guardian has been born. Happy Birthday!

Adi Avigail Cohen said...

Thank you Zilong for sharing
Thank you for being part of this great miraculous journey
Sending waves of love to hold and embrace you

Kathleen Patton said...

"Doorways slammed open" -- yes indeed, and flung open too. Thank you for this beautiful reflection, and continued strength for your journey as you try to hold this very counter cultural perspective. I have the benefit of the rest of the summer on sabbatical before I am back at it.

Michael Goldstein said...

Very touched by the entire piece, Zilong, and much I can relate to, including the pull back into the old. But moved to tears by reading of yours -- very glad for you and the world that you asked and received at a much earlier age than I did. And for the rest of the opening which you describe. Love, Michael

Emily Zionts said...

Articulated beautifully, friend! Thanks for helping me to process that experience!