Sacred Spaces…

August 25, 2014 | Writings

This year for vacation Tim and I decided to drive north to Bar Harbor, Maine to explore Mount Desert Island home of Acadia National Park.

The peak of Cadillac Mountain (1538 feet) is the highest elevation in the park.  Since I have difficulty walking from our house to the garage, we knew we had no choice but to reach the summit in our sturdy Audi.  On the way up the mountain as we looked for parking, we saw many others on this clear summer day also seeking  the beauty of the mountain top.  Yet with the numbers  of adults, some old, others not so old, and children who we met, walking, climbing or simply gazing, we did not feel overwhelmed by the physical or psychological presence of the many.

As I looked around at the visitors, I was struck by our common denominator.  Voices were hushed.  Eyes were focused.  Moving or still, individuals – even children – had a certain blend of containment and wonder, perhaps awe, as they stood on the mountain top.

Far below were the blue waters of Frenchman’s Bay opening to the Atlantic. The sea was dotted by a number of small islands. Here and there a white speck indicated  fishing or recreation boats. The sun was high and warm. Clouds floated gently above us. Human voices, if not silenced, were hushed. The adventurous were climbing over rocks checking how far out they felt safe to venture. Even from my place of seated stillness, I felt the energy of the place, I was able to BREATHE into the wonder of creation, the power of the mountain.

My Breath brought to mind the peace and power I experience when sitting in Transfiguration Zendo with others, few or many. Each of us is drawn into our unique experience of the energy of LIFE which is at the same time uniquely our own and yet common to us all. We are connected, sustained.

My Catholic roots surface reminding me of another mountain – Tabor  – where Jesus was witnessed as he was – shining as the sun. We cannot be transported to Tabor. We cannot always drive up Cadillac Mountain. However, when we faithfully and consistently return to our Zen practice, taking time to let go of everything else and simply BREATHE,  connecting deep within to our center, we see more deeply and know more clearly what and who we are called to be. We are ONE with ourselves and the ALL.