He sat on a flat warm stone listening to his beard grow. Is that even possible? Surrounding him were living trees of various ages and sizes who talked among themselves through a communications network that spread out under the ground for many miles, so that everyone knew about the man on the stone, even as he imagined that he was experiencing some sort of quiet solitude. We are never really alone, you know.
In fact, there was so much happening all around him, so many voices expounding the dharmas of trees and stones, wind and water, small sweet animals who sat on branches or swam in the nearby stream, or the numberless nameless insects who roamed the earth and created whole worlds out of its parts, so that they could nest and enjoy the hive mind like a beautiful symphony that bestowed its own special grace, its own meaning. What an ecstasy to melt one’s being into that extended choir, what an exquisite delight!
The man on the stone knew none of that, but it was alright. Some things we don’t need to know all at once. It is better to learn one thing at a time, so we can appreciate it for the gift it offers us, the mirror. What he knew was this: the stone was still warm from the heat of the sun. This was enough for now, now that he had turned away from the old thoughts of seeking and getting, of wanting and holding and losing. In this perfect place of warm stones and falling light, what did any of it matter?
It was almost as if he could no longer remember any of that, and this was good. Just listening as things changed — the light, the forest, the bubbling stream, all formed their own music. He loved this music. There was no need for any explanation, and that was the way he liked it now, just as it was. Sometimes we imagine something else is needed, but that is just imagination. Nothing is needed. Indeed, it just might be that we already have too much.
During the giving season, maybe we should give away more and more, rather than accumulate more and more. I suspect that would make us much happier, since the more we give, the less we have to occupy our minds. Imagine giving everything away. What an immense relief, and not just material objects, but all of the thoughts too, and the sensations, the memories, the perceptions, the associations, the beliefs, the old stories, the sounds we hear when we are barely awake late at night, even the most precious treasures, the kisses and the tears — all gone! Ah, Ah . . .