Playing for God – September 5 2018

Playing for God – September 5 2018

The essence of all that exists is Divine. So when we let go of our attachment to the linear perspective, then we become aware of the divinity of all that exists. Therefore your life is conducted at all times in the presence of God. At all times, you are in the presence of God. It’s just that you fail to recognize it. And when you recognize it, you see the divinity of all that exists. The infinite potential of creation. You see that evolution and Creation are one and the same thing. Evolution is what Creation looks like. Religionists seem to think that first there was Nothing, then suddenly there was a God… They don’t understand: that which is forever has no beginning. It has no ending. It has no start, it has no source, it has no cause.
David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D.
 
One day a couple of years ago, I stopped at the Vedanta Center in Hollywood. My dear friend and colleague, Sanora, was having a birthday and I wanted to find a new book for her — something having to do with the Veda, but which she hasn’t read. (It’s a challenge. She reads more than I do.) The Vedanta Bookstore is perfect for this, filled with interesting titles by modern authors as well as obscure translations of ancient Vedic texts.
 
It was 15 minutes til the bookstore opened. There were two or three others, like me, waiting outside in the sunshine. A monk (I assume he was a monk — he was wearing a very snappy orange sweater) came up to me and a young man seated there on the bench, and said, “There is someone inside (indicating the temple) who is going to play the cello. He wants to ‘play for God.’ He played for the Dalai Lama. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind you listening.”
 
I kicked off my boots and went into the temple.
 
When there isn’t a service happening, one enters through the side door. In the alcove there, just inside the door, are a few rows of chairs facing the side of the altar space. In the front row was the cellist, a big, healthy looking red-headed man in his 40’s, holding his cello and his bow. As I walked past him, we exchanged smiles. I sat in the front pew of the sanctuary and looked back at him. He had closed his eyes as if in meditation, though still cradling his instrument. I closed my eyes, too.
 
I had the thought that I’d like to see his first note, to see how he would move from silence to not-silence, but it felt more appropriate to keep my eyes closed and so I simply gave in to the deep calm of that space. I heard a few others come in and take seats quietly around me.
 
Some time later, I became aware of a sound, a tone that seemed not to have a beginning, but rather arose from the silence so subtly and incrementally as to carry the silence along with it; and as it grew in volume, it became recognizable as a cello note — deep, long, resonant. But it was coming from a different place. I opened my eyes and now he was before me. He had brought his chair, sat down at the front of the sanctuary and begun his playing in absolute silence, as if all of it were a part of his prayer. And now the music…
 
It was subtle and beautiful and profound, growing slowly into something, then subsiding, then growing again until finally, some time later it disappeared back into the silence and we were left there together in the wake of it.
 
It was clear that there would not be another piece, and at a certain point everyone — the cellist and all those listening — stood. Whatever had taken place was over, and we filed out, bowing in thanks to the musician, smiling at him for the gift he had just given.
 
What would we do if we thought/realized that God is present always? How would we behave? Where would we give of our time, our attention, our energy? If God were here, right now before me, would I still be worried about my bills/weight/career/social position? Would I ignore Him/Her/It long enough to check my email? Would I keep replaying in my mind the moment of shame/embarrassment that I’ve been torturing myself with for days or months or years?
 
David Hawkins says, “Live your life like a prayer,” as if always you are in the presence of the divine. As if each moment mattered. As if the potential for beauty is here, always, just within our reach if only we choose to notice.
 
Today I will assume the Omnipresence of the Divine–here and now always, in each moment, in each space. I will assume that this Presence recognizes me. I will assume It loves me as It loves all that has arisen from it, with all the infinite power of Itself. I will assume It wishes to hear from me and has been waiting–patiently and smilingly–for me to arrive at this moment, exactly as I am, and give of myself to It by the beauty of my own presence. And when I forget, I will assume that the forgetting, too, is just a part of my song for the day.

(For my friend, Anna, I am sending this out early. Good morning to all of you.)
Wall, Exterior Body Shop, Queens, NY
All original material copyright © 2018 Jeff Kober