I Am The Sky Of The Sky

skyIn A Heart As Wide as the World, Sharon Salzberg tells about a visit to the Santa Fe Opera in an open-air theater:

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. 

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