Friday, December 23, 2016

Ram's Horn, A Winter Letter: 21 December from Margaret Jasinski

To be in touch with our own humanity is a simple celebration of life.We are alive every the day of our lives.But we are easily distracted and looking in many directions; as a result contact with being alive is not easy.

And we want something very much. We are very hungry, and though this hunger is deep within in us we are at a loss to name it. So we provide secret names and turn it into a myriad of substitutes: each one holds our hunger for a while and we are sated until the hunger seizes upon us again.

We must have food. As human beings we cannot get along without it. The staff of life is bread, as the saying goes, yet once we have taken bread our hunger does not disappear. Because is it not only hunger. We feed upon more than bread, we demand much more: if hunger were as simple as bread, then I would become a lady and bake loaves.

We are hungry for contact which means that our aliveness can be alive, sprung into existence by touch in many forms. We are fed by the nourishment of humanity each to each. As such we create holding, an invisible nexus from which to enact and maintain. We provide holding for others and ourselves: it is an exchange of giving and receiving.

Holding enmeshes into itself, producing a subtle environment so we do not disappear, so we do not take our hunger to the streets, so it is not preyed upon by strangers, so it is not displaced by intoxicants or yummy foods to gobble, so it not twisted into the many forms of escape like dullness, obsession, aversion, resistance, games of inferiority and superiority, big and small. So it is not hated, or derided or turned into a pet or enslaved or put into the service of appearance or stuck in a pantheon.

Hunger has more than one hundred and eight variations. It spans into every cell of the body as it inhabits our minds unceasingly. I am hungry and therefore I know something of the human condition. How I am conditioned to respond to hunger is another matter, and here the story of hunger turns inside, it comes from within itself like the the very first curl of a ram’s horn making a spiral of its own volition. The potentiality of this horn is enfolded into the intelligence of aliveness from before birth; this potentiality is hidden at birth: he is a darling baby, a lamb, and while he is this outwardly, nature works from the inside, starting the course of the spiral which grows all by itself.( though in recent years this ubiquitous biological phenomena has a mathematical name, Fibonacci). This name marks the spiral of aliveness which began in the folds of nature, in the mystery of birth. Birth gives rise to becoming. Life feeds upon that from which it is made: this is how it functions. On this earth we are born, it is our nature, our nativity. All beings are born- to be on contact with humanity. To be in contact with humanity liberates human hunger and its conditioning. So that life is life, what we are made of, enfolded with the unknown.

Coming from Cape Breton,Nova Scotia, Margaret has experienced many happy moments with a pencil in hand. She penciled two novels for children and more essays than "you can shake a stick at," as they say on the island. She has been a dedicated student of Rinpoche for six years.

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