Epiphany can be intoxicating. It can feel like an aha, strike on high from the Gods, a lightbulb being turned on and shining light into the shadows of a fearful existence. Wake me up, slap across the face… but what do you do about it in the morning?
Time and time again I see individuals, myself included, have these amazing moments… and then do little with them. Catharsis junkies attending the same shamanism or tantra 101 weekend year after year, having the same realization about their intrinsic sacred value, only to come back the next year to “wake up” again because they fell asleep again in the year between.
There are those for whom epiphanies are truly a tool for life transformation. Having opened wide and seen the glory possible in existence, in their own skin and sighs and soulful spirit, they cannot fall asleep again. They shake off the fetters and begin the Work on this planet of being the person they need to be. And yet, the percentage is not so high.
Epiphanies are powerful… but only if we do something with them.
What epiphanies can be though are a way to start laying the lines for our daily Work. Let my clay be etched with a line by this experience. The first line is so often the hardest. Where do I long to etch my dreams? Where do I go from here? So often we scratch and scratch at the clay that is our being and add texture, add friction, add scars… but nowhere for the finger to follow, nowhere on the tile for the water to flow away and out into the world.
For those who have epiphanies early on, they can act as an initial strike line. The hard water comes, and the line is laid. As we continue our daily work, the line gets deeper and deeper, digging into our essence. Our patterns become indelible, tactile experiences that can be felt upon our being.
And yet- there is the reflected route. Instead of my daily practice be a thing to do after the epiphany struck… let the scratches become a pattern, the pattern be followed over and over again to become lines. When epiphany strikes, the heavy rains have a place to flow, they dig deeper, the water finds its ways and lets it go where it is needed.
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”
-Seneca, Roman philosopher, mid-1st century AD
“Enlightenment is an accident. Meditation makes you accident prone.”
–Zentatsu Richard Baker, American Soto Zen Roshi
My own clay is scarred and textured, and tells the tale of so many false starts. And yet, wisdom therein. Let us not bemoan the sorrows of relationships not followed or spiritual paths stepped upon but not taken. Those scratches and lines into our clay set up the potential for our Work today, our work in the Now. Sing me not a tale of sorrow, unless in welling up that emotion in you in inspires you to greater work. Sorrow as fuel, yes, tasting of salty sweetness of tears and times past. But a sea to drown it… no. Fashion a raft from the debris and prepare to sail.
I examine my clay. Look at the lines run deep, the shallow scores, the takes of my flesh and furrowed brow. Look at the patterns in my etheric being, the land mines and easter eggs, the potential and passion buried in my story.
My finger runs along the clay. That one, there. There. Yes, it is the path I long to follow. And this one here, a journey to inspire, that is mine as well. I find the dowsing rod of my spirit and work out the ley lines. I lower my lips to the clay and breathe dust away, finding lines covered up with neglect of pursuit and forgotten promises.
Closing my eyes, I breathe in and hold. Slowly, I let out my breath through my nose, lips shut in silent contemplation. Focusing into the patterns, I slowly open my eyes and see the clay before me.
Here is the pattern for the daily Work. Here the where I go. Here is the sharpening of my vision into the passions for the future.
My fingernail follows the groove. And again today. And again tomorrow. And again, again, again. I do not notice as my finger finds the line again and again.
The Grand Canyon was dug out this way, and so is my heart.
In my well-laid being, let the lines run deep.
It will not always go the exact way I thought. I may meander, the drizzle of water taking a turn and twist that leads not to a goal but simply to where it leads. And yet, over the years, the awe of nature’s majesty emerges.
My line becomes a creek, a creek a river bed. My bed, well laid, awaits the monsoon and wells to life.
Epiphany comes, and I am ready.