My reflection in the still water reveals a face. Mouth closed in silence, eyes that receive the gifts of light and shadow. Nose to take the universe in and out of my body, feeding my soul. Ears that curve like petals of an orchid, gifted with the whispers of the wind. I live with music surrounding me. The song of the water as it trickles through the cracks of rock into the spring, the hum of the insect waxing and waning as it pollinates the flower. The wind, rushing through the canyon, amplified by the dancing sparkle of the starry night.
I live in a world of joy that I can share only with myself. I have not spoken for many years. I am only spoken to, by the tea on my tongue, earthy and hot, like the nurturing words of a friend.
I remember very little of my family. There were children older than myself. Four of them. I can see them lined up, looking silently at me as I was lead away. The largest one, a girl, had tears in her eyes and down her cheeks. My mother soothed her, whispering of the gift that was being bestowed upon the family and especially on me. I remember the joy they revealed to me, in their eyes that was greater than the pain they must have felt to loose their youngest son.
I was chosen by the monks that live in the high mountains above the village to be one of them. My family sacrificed me with great honor to see the light revealed in one of their children. I remember little of my first days, but came to know a serenity in the workings of the monastery that have filled my heart with the loudest fireworks imaginable. This way of being, silent and within, has revealed such extraordinary things. I am happy to finally share them with you now.
It has been over 2000 years since this lifetime that I am remembering. Time means very little to the soul. It feels like yesterday.
I lived for over seventy years, speaking less than a hundred words with my voice, meeting fewer than a hundred other people. It was a life of almost indescribable joy.
I was taught the way of the body by following the tai chi. I practiced this meditation with my body each day from the starry dawn until the sun warmed my face. My mind could see the movement of each joint and each muscle in the vessel that I was given to use for the incarnation. In my introspection, I could see this clearly. I became respectful and full of gratitude for the body I was given. It allowed me to experience much.
The routine I followed included the warmth of tea, brewed in ancient copper pots. The tea became the symbol for the fire that burns inside that must be tended. The fire that is not fed, burns out eventually.
Food was conversation. It was whispers of passion with the heat of a pepper spice. It was laughter with the rice and the crisp greens. It was long discussions of truth and deception with the savory depths of the sauces and the soups. The honey and the salt were longing and satisfaction representing an ache for something I knew but did not know. Every meal was rich with the inner dialogue filled with quiet emotion.
Meditation each day allowed me to connect with the source of energy of the universe to reveal humor. If I had not learned the control of my body, I might have laughed out loud countless times. As it was, I had the strength to the hold my emotions close and instead, only smiled. I smiled much at the beauty of what was revealed to me in the seclusion and isolation of a mountain top monastery. It seemed the universe had much to offer me if only I had the patience to wait until the time was right. The trick would be to live the lives I would live fully, as they were intended to be experienced. In meditation, I saw lives with wonderful lessons to be learned. Lessons that would expand my knowledge and understanding of what was humanly possible. Lessons that would be painful and hopeful and like the art of getting completely wet involves jumping into the deepest part of the lake, must be done without hesitation.
I could hardly wait for the experiences I could see. They were presents, something I now know of, waiting to be opened.