“Watching the characters struggling with the immense complexity of their lives against the backdrop of that open and spacious sky was a fantastic juxtaposition: however histrionic the event, however dramatic, however much despair or ecstasy was happening onstage, it was all in the context of that hugely spacious sky….”
I used to sing opera. When I read the above passage, I considered the worst thing that happened to “me,” onstage. It was in college in Dialogues of the Carmelites – a cheery piece about the French Revolution. I played a nun who, in a fit of ego, convinced her sisters to die as martyrs. In the end, everyone got guillotined except me.
My character, Mother Marie, was upset. But my true self was fine. I look back fondly on that opera and sometimes sing the Salve Regina head-chopping scene when I’m fun-scared – to embarrass my nephews on roller coasters and whatnot.
Offstage, we’re not always fine in the mini-soap-operas that infuse our days. We strut, fret, lament, whine and complain. We feel shame and guilt. We shake our fists at various people and conditions. We forget we’re wearing a human costume and acting out a plot in the context of an eternal sky.
But sometimes we can expand into vastness; feel the sky; and even see that our sky has a sky… something that extends into outer space and beyond…
When we see ourselves over-identify with the characters we play, we can love and detach. When we detach, we become who we really are — the vast sky of the sky, singing an eternal song.
Meditate – Feel your innate vastness and say, “I am the sky of the sky.”
Practice – Throughout the day, notice your operatic tendencies. Step back, befriend and say “I am the sky of the sky.”
Advanced Practice – Love all of your sweet efforts to embody vastness. The sky of the sky lives in the heart of the mind or the mind of the heart.