To See

When we lived in New Mexico, the room in which I did my morning prayers faced south-east. I wrote many a blog post about Cooke’s Peak, 30 miles away, across the prairie. I prayed looking out the window. Now I live in town. At this time of year, I do my prayers in the dark, facing southwest, looking at a wall. It is tempting that in such a place I cannot see, but I am finding that not to be true. For many years, part of my prayer awakening exercises is to place myself in my mind’s eye on the surface of the earth, looking down from high enough to see the continents. I can see the trajectory of the horizon, curving around me, and I am located globally. I see mountains and seas and forests and prairies in relation to where I sit in prayer. Now I am just north of the 48th parallel, farther from the equator, my birthplace, than I have ever lived. I’m closer to the North Pole.

With this inner map drawn, I can center down to this particular place, at this particular time, and see what is going on here and now. Breathe in, breathe out, count the breaths, my weight on the chair, sitting here, just north of the 48th parallel, with the Pole behind me and the Salish Sea before me, seen by the mind’s eye. Suddenly it opens up into its brilliant isness, and I have seen once again. Then the eye of the heart and the eyes of the head have become one eye.

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