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The Gift of Alert Awareness

January 18, 2022

The Gift of Alert Awareness

By Amba Gale

We are all human. Very human.

And we are all imperfect, very imperfect. In fact, perfectly imperfect.

Our very humanity, our very imperfections, our very wounds and vulnerabilities, flailings and failings, crashing on the rocks, and recovering our well – being, thriving through the storm – all are the Great Learnings of our Lifetime. Living through this pandemic consciously, and all that is being wrought, brings us to great trials, Great Sleep-fulness, Great Wake-fulness.

If you have been reading Blog postings for a while, or worked with me, you know how serious I am, how committed I am, what a Stand I am, for being in development, for contributing to the consciousness of the people on earth. My life has been devoted to developing my own, you could say, “spiritual maturity.” I have schooled myself to “catch myself” when my own triggered reactions are at play.

And yet, like all of us, I still “lose it” from time to time.

One night, in December, I did just that. And the anger that overtook me, swallowed up my mind, my heart, and my soul. It was as though my very Being had gone to sleep.

Later, in reviewing what had happened, and asking myself what was missing that my actions were taken so out of reaction, I saw that what was missing was the Alertness that is only given by Presence. And that that is my work: to be Present.

If you are a joy a Joy of Being graduate, you might be interested in a loving and profound retreat by that name, The Art of Living Wakefully.

The morning after my evening episode of “crashing on the rocks,” this fierce poem came through me and I wrote.

When it had completed itself, I found myself gifted with the present of Presence.

 

 

The Present of Presence

By Amba Gale

You have learned
   your lesson
   in the last while,
   a December like no other,
   when, like an Irish curragh
   on a rough sea
   as you left one pilgrim island
   and rowed to the next,
   the boat capsized
   and there you were
   in the ten – foot waves
   and the rough seas,
   fighting for your soul.

Yes.

You Saw
   what you needed to see:
   the power and necessity of Alertness,
   of Presence,
   without which
   you are asleep,
   without which
   you will flail in the water,
   and could, perhaps, even, crash on the rocks underneath you,
   and drown forever
   in a bad dream of your own making.

Never forget
   the sharp and jagged
   rocks are always there, underneath
   the surface of the sea,
   and the sea is waiting
   to swallow you up
   wholeheartedly
   in its cold and frightening water.

Only
   With Presence
   and Alertness, the bride of Presence,
   can you row your little sturdy, wooden boat
   to your far shores.

Imagine
   that the madness comes upon you once again,
   followed by Fear and Desperation.

Only, this time,
   Presence arrives
   at your door, knocking,
   asking to be let in,
   like a great gift,
   a constant guest,
   a Teacher, a Spirit,
   out of time for all time.

Accept
   this gift gladly.

Presence is your Path to Peace.

Additional Posts

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February 13, 2024

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Four Sundays ago, I came to my office early, before my family was awake.  Seeing my desk cluttered with papers, I passed right by the meditation corner where, every morning, I meditate, write poetry, or frequently read Mark Nepo’s Book of Awakening before tackling anything. I saw all the papers on the desk just begging to be sorted into notes that, if touched one by one and placed on a calendar, or a list, or committed to, would provide me with clear openings for action for my life.  Since having gone to Indonesia for the month of November and having…

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