So Much Here

“The entire heavenly realm

is within us, but to find it

we have to relate to what’s outside.”  ­

–Joseph Campbell

No signs of our cranes this year, although a male crane appears each sunrise calling out his primordial song. My husband claimed this could mean a female is there on her nest. I doubted it because there wasn’t any sign of them doing their usual mating dance or nest building.

I’ve been holding a conversation with the pond and its inhabitants for nearly two decades. Most of my attention has been on the comings and goings of a certain pair of cranes and the occasional visit from one blue heron. The cranes have shown up in my blogs and books, having taught me about perseverance, but also about when to give up. I felt disappointed at missing this particular conversation. This “missing” also felt synchronistic and reflective of my soon to be “empty nest,” as our only daughter leaves for college this fall.

Of course, just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

At dusk a few days ago I saw the female crane poking around near the edge of the pond. So I took another look through our binoculars and discovered she had found a more hidden place to nest, deeper in and nearer the water’s edge.

Just so, when some one, or something, is “out of sight” doesn’t mean the conversation is over. An “empty nest” isn’t truly empty. “Empty nests” like the principle of “emptiness” in Buddhist teachings are commonly misunderstood.

Emptiness doesn’t mean nothing is there; it actually means everything is there. Because everything is linked to everything else, because everything arises and exists dependent on everything else, emptiness truly points to our fullness. We just can’t always “see” this fullness. In Buddhist teachings emptiness, shinyata, simply points to how we are not separate entities. We don’t hold any independent, inherent existence. In a most intimate and relative way we belong here. In reality, there is no separation because we are dependent and filled with all of life.

What appears as bare, deserted or abandoned is actually rich with life. Sometimes what we love is out of view. Sometimes we can see the fullness of what is in front of us, sometimes not.

This understanding of emptiness makes our conversations rich and meaningful regardless of circumstances. As long as we tune into the underlying and continual thread of our belonging, everything will be full of meaning and purpose. (And, Dear Writer, this brings an entirely new way to relate to the “empty page.”)

“Inside this clay jug are canyons and pine mountains,

and the maker of canyons and pine mountains!

All seven oceans are inside,

and hundreds of millions of stars.

And the music from the strings that no one touches, and the

source of all water.

It you want the truth, I will tell you the truth:

Friend, listen: the God whom I love is inside.”      -Kabir




“Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible.”

–Thich Nhat Hanh

129 thoughts on “So Much Here

  1. À medida que os períodos entre elas tornam-se menores, maior é a gravidade do quadro, sendo importante deixar a vergonha de lado e procurar ajuda de um especialista, como o urologista ou o andrologista.

  2. Cialis (Tadalafilo) es un medicamento utilizado para tratar la disfunción eréctil en hombres adultos, comercializado desde el 2003 por el laboratorio Lilly y bien aceptado por la población masculina.

  3. Now that we’ve covered the aphorism definition, are you ready for more examples.
    Another aphorism that’s adapted is, Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
    George Washington is known for his wise sayings.
    Sandys said, Honestie the best policie, which in modern English is…
    Oftentimes, it makes sense to delegate tasks.
    Aphorisms state universal truths about life that encourage reflection.
    Pick an aphorism that relates to your message and use it to stay focused on your overarching theme.
    Too many times to count, right.
    We see this in literature all the time.
    So what do you do.
    The idea is simple.
    Like George Washington, Sandys believed that telling the truth is always the way to go.
    One of his most notable is, An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
    Aphorisms state universal truths about life that encourage reflection.
    Your stories can benefit from this method too.
    Curiosity killed the cat.

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