108 beads . writing mala exercise . beginning

I

beginning
I dreamed last night, after many days of sleepless and broken sleeps. I dreamed that I was walking through a wooded place. The trees were bare, set apart, as though it were late fall. There were houses a long the path, I cannot remember now how many, but several. Two come to mind now – one house was barely constructed. It had no roof, no windows, just the shell of the house. It was still being built (or taken down I could not tell which). The other house was complete – and that was the house I was going to. I don’t remember who owned it, a woman, and I was going to see her. The door frame was made of dark wood, and a pot sat at the door with a flower arrangement inside. I looked down as I passed it, and saw that on the flowers and sticks/ leaves were small butterflies. They were sitting for brief moments, and then fluttering around. There was one larger butterfly, and many smaller ones. They were all white. I felt happy to see them and turned to tell the person behind me that the butterflies were there. Then the dream ended and I woke up.

A dream of many transformations – some small, some larger, but all related to change…

Everything Changes, Panta Rei

Estin Enai, Being Is

The butterfly and the bloom…

These words, Panta Rei and Estin Enai, hand in hand, have follow me through the years. They have stayed with me since I first learned them. The extent of my Greek language education – two phrases. Two important phrases for me – and perhaps, at least up until this point, the only two that I am concerned with. To me, they are inseparable. Everything does change. There is getting around it. That is the basic truth of life. Change is the only constant. I know this. Being is – for me, is just as constant, especially with change. What else is there to do except be while everything is changing? The changes – the butterflies land on the lotus that simply is and continues to be.

On my back, I have a tattoo of a lotus, just the outline, unfinished and incomplete. The bloom floats between my shoulder blades, over my heart chakra. It has been several years since I had my friend Anthony permanently place the lotus on my body. The only thing that sticks out in my mind now is that it didn’t hurt to have it done. Not even a little bit. I have the lotus there as a simple reminder that I am not finished.  Not in this lifetime. Not for perhaps many more.

When I sit in meditation, and even, when I am simply sitting enjoying my day, I often feel as though someone is touching the lotus. A warm hand, with the lightest touch – like a butterfly – holds me still. It is a very pleasant and reassuring experience, to feel this touch. I cannot help but be reminded now of this. The lotus is always with me, and so is the butterfly.

~ Lei

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