Falling asleep at the end of a long day. Weary and worn, dusty, musty and tired. Time seems to fall away, and in sleep there is no-one present to watch its passing. Then a miracle occurs - waking to a fresh new day. Every day is a fresh new day, but sometimes the freshness isn't noticed. Every day is a fresh new day, but sometimes we miss it. Every day is a fresh new day, but some days are fresher than others. Sometimes there are parts of the previous day left-over, which create a drag on it. For some there are things that are more important than the now of being alive. All of the things that we believed were important, and all of the things that were important to believe. The yearnings of the future and the disappointments of the past, not to mention all of the unresolved confusions and dramas that we drag around. Together they conspire to make the day a bit grey, and create an unease that hides in the background of all things.
Waking to a fresh new day. It is slightly cool, and that adds to the freshness. It is the type of freshness that seems to stave off stuffyness of the head and eliminate restlessness and discomfort. The type of freshness that brings with it alertness. The type of freshness that one would find on the beach on a cold winters day, or by a lake, or in the mountains at any time of the year. The freshness of a forest, that stretches as far as the eye can see. The freshness that comes after a true pause in time. A pause from the bubbling and babbling listlessness that accompanies the pall of unease that is the burdensome cargo of mind. The freshness that comes after having passed beyond the realm of the mundane.
Whether the restlessness is prominent or the freshness is prominent, stopping whatever one is doing, wherever one is. Gathering ones-self and turning ones-self to face whatever it is before you. Whatever it is that most needs to be seen and done.
On the freshest of fresh days the things that need to be attended-to gather together in a queue, and come forward one by one. But on restless days they buzz around the room like flies - the necessary things mixed liberally with the irrelevant and irreverent. They all buzz with a similar volume, and the sound of each one drowns out the sound of the other, and the sound of the other drowns out the sound of the one. But of all of the things that need to be done, there is always one that most needs to be done, and a few subsequent ones. Identifying and isolating its voice in the crowd, and becoming close to it. Listening to its needs and requirements and attending to them, one at a time, each individually as they arise.
Taking them one by one, the freshness is maintained. So too the swarm of tasks is lessened, and with practice, those that most need to be done are addressed and disposed-of. Open all of the doors and windows and let in the fresh cool air. With all of the doors and windows open, those things that serve only to be irritants are easily blown away. The irritants, along with the frivolous and unnecessary - gone. Only those that are of genuine concern remain.
It is a fresh new day on planet earth, and yet so many of the brightest and most brilliant beings are distracted, detained or otherwise occupied. They are unable to attend to the days activities, being arrested by their distractions. With these beings diverted, disassociated and disempowered, there is a form of dizziness that prevails and spreads to all others. A communal headache. Such is life in the cave that is the world of form.
On the walls of the cave shadows appear in the dim light. They seem to reveal a depth of existence, a link to otherwise unknown places and parts. They goad and menace anyone who is unfortunate enough to find themselves in their world.
The shadows on the caves walls harass and irritate all of the other beings until the time comes that something really must be done about them. Even though they are only shadows on the wall, they give rise to a malaise in the imagination and the mind. In frustration and desperation one might swat and flail at the air and space around them. But air and space, light and shadows are not particularly bothered by being swatted at. Then one might spray various substances and things into the atmosphere. It is the fragrance of flowers and fruity things that they least like, and that causes them to run and hide. The shadows find them frightening and repellent, and of them it is the lavender that they are most frightened of. It causes them to lose their tension and ability to adhere. They cannot bear its fragrance, and the way that it lets light pass freely. Nice as it is, a spray of lavender might help to rid the caves walls of annoying and debilitating shadows for a but a while, but this is only a temporary solution, and something more permanent is required to have them not come back.
For a moment, in a fit of frustration and emotion, one might curse at the first thing that one sees – the moon in the daytime sky. Vomit some vile invective in that direction. Alas such displays of impotence and futility really do not help. All they do is wear one out and annoy the moon. The shadows smirk and gloat and get fatter and fatter.
Although they have been a big problem for a very long time, there is only one reason that the shadows have not been swept away and removed from this earthly field. The one reason is that they weren't popularly perceived as being a problem. Because of that no-one has seen the need to devise an effective way of removing them and their influence from this matrix and paradigm.
No-one ever asked them to go away and be a pestilence elsewhere. To go away and find somewhere else to live. No-one ever asked them whether they need help. No-one ever showed them another way of being. No-one ever delved into the source of their unfortunate condition, to find out what was wrong with them, and how to fix them. When they are fixed, to sever their source of sustenance and carefully arrange conditions and circumstances so that they do not return.
We might gather together and build a hospital for them. Make it a tall hospital lit with pastel lighting, and filled with soft music. Put the worst of them in sealed compartments from where they cannot escape until they have mellowed somewhat. With the shadows safely ensconced there we might quickly assess our world and do whatever is required to make it uninhabitable to them. Populate all places everywhere with finely tuned sensibilities and high minded ideas, all ruled by love and gentleness. It is these that frightens them the most.
Then to give our own population the skills needed to navigate their ills. To completely eradicate the condition that is distress without insight, pain without resolution and power without compassion. To spray every nook and cranny with lavender, and fill them with gentleness, beauty and peace. But the most important and most difficult thing is to arrange the conditions of clear and unflinchingly attentive presence in all people. If that can be done then the other tasks will not be difficult.
If not, then things will most likely remain as they have always been. There are always days when the weather is fresh, but not everyone can partake in that freshness. As it is, there are some who can experience the freshest of fresh. Those who are lucky can do it automatically, for it is in their nature. Those who don't experience it naturally might need to discover the keys to freshness for themselves. They might find them by accident, they might be given them as if by chance. They might go out and look for them, find them, adopt and absorb them. Some unfortunates might be led to the way of freshness and still not be able to truly make it their own , or they might just not care– a most sad situation.
Whether anyone cares or not, each day arises as a fresh new day, ready for its freshness to be seized and taken advantage of. It is a strange world, where two people might stand next to each other, and yet have a very different experience of the same moment. But that is how things are. If they can meet in freshness, then they might find themselves to be closer together. Closer together, closer to themselves, closer to everything.