I was walking my dog Sampson in the early hours of the evening recently when I glanced up at the bright spots that were gradually appearing in the sky. I noticed one that was sufficiently bright such that it was clearly visible, and as the veil of darkness gradually shrouded the remaining daylight, it became even brighter. Then I remembered how to tell whether that bright spot was a star or a planet. I found the page in my catalog of memories that stated, “when the light is shimmering, it’s probably a star, and when the light is flatter and more disk-like, it’s probably a planet.”
I took three more steps, then paused when it occurred to me how quickly I had wandered into my mind, trying to put words around the experience. Similar to being attracted to something and immediately whipping out your iPhone so you can take a picture of it. In this case it was whipping out my mind to figure out the right words for this brightening light in the sky.
It occurred to me how much I miss due to the compelling need to transcribe everything with thoughts and into words. It’s a gift we have as human beings, a basis for communication with one another, yet something is missed when the filter of translating the experience into words is active. We miss the purity of the experience. We miss the purity of being.
I’m reminded of those times when my attention is drawn to something and I do pause and become completely immersed in the experience, even if only for a few moments. At those times I’m in awe: raptured, captivated, and lost, melted in the arms of pure experience. The place of everything and no-thing. The place of Pure Being.
Once I realize this I take a deep breath, pause, and continue to breathe deeply as I gaze directly at this wondrous bright spot in the sky. These are the moments when there is no sense of “me” and the boundaries between that beautiful glow in the darkness and my usual self are completely gone, somewhere embedded in my consciousness. Those moments are precious and cannot be captured in words alone. Everything comes down to those few moments of complete immersion into the now, where nothing else matters.
Still not sure whether it was a star or a planet, but—it doesn’t really matter except to the small self’s mind.