Late last evening, before I lay to sleep I realized that it was very close to the 10:15 a.m. local time that a freight train of water struck Phi Phi Island, Thailand and rolled through thousands of other coastlines and islands throughout the Indian Ocean.
People ask me about the tsunami to this day. It's not as if I think about the tsunami any more today. That experience and all the people I met in Thailand and Sri Lanka are always part of me.
It wasn't my own near-death experience that got to me, I've had close calls scaling canyons and hurtling through whitewater rapids too.
"How to be open without taking on all the suffering of other people?" was not a philosophical question any longer. The tsunami broke my heart open in a way nothing had ever cracked through the fortress I'd erected.
I got this in my Nondual Highlights newsletter on Dec 16th, and I think it speaks volumes about what remains with me in the living moment to moment:
"Just be here. Sort of like sitting ducks. The mind can feel that way when one enters this unprotected place, like a sitting duck, at the mercy of the moment, fully surrendered, fully offered, without a strategy or a protection or any idea why, just a complete dropping everything, the stuff you're carrying, to the floor, and just here.
This being is more than enough. Then if we stay here, there's a song that starts to sing, a devotional song to Being that starts to sing between us - it is this song about, Ah! You are! I am! You are! I am! How lovely. How everything.
J: The essence of separation is I'm not part of this, I'm not at one with this, I am apart from this.
T: It's really difficult to get close.
J: It's too late, because we already are, like this, we were born this way. I'm already so close to you it's excruciating if you let yourself notice.
T: When I look into your eyes, I feel like I'm looking into Love itself, it's very sweet.
J: Me too, in yours... Why let a little horrific trauma get in the way of walking around the world as love, hmmm?
If we meet this world unprotected, our heart gets broken over and over and over. This is actually a gift. You let the world touch you, it shatters you open, and it shatters you open, and it shatters you open. And here you are, shining. After our heart is broken open a thousand times and all of the contents emptied out, there's just this shining left."
- Jeannie Zandi, speaking in satsang in Portland, Oregon