Who I am is my magic.

February 2, 2009

I read books about druids lately. About druid world, druid reality. I read about their friendship and alliance with trees, about their unity with nature. I read about walking barefoot upon the earth and feeling it hum with the energy of life, I read about being the balance, the harmony between all living things and things of spirit. I read about understanding of nature being a teacher in all things. About awareness that there is no death, that who we are does not end, that the moment this body falls apart is simply a step in another direction. “I am a druid!” I thought as I read the druid tales, “this is my reality, this is my world, this is where I live!”. Stories came to me, memories from this life, of feelings, connections, coincidences. Of visiting the holly places of druids and sensing their magic without realizing it, of how I felt in forests, of my relationship to trees and to nature, of the choices I’ve made in my life and of where they took me. More and more stories danced around me, ideas, memories, all fell into place. I was weaving a story, a story of myself as a druid. Strand after strand was surrounding me, defining me, cocooning me, restricting me … “stop right there!” I thought. And I stopped. I was weaving the story of who I was and becoming the story. The story defined me, constricted me, separated me from anything that wasn’t it. The space of who I am begun to shrink, suddenly there were boundaries, definitions, borders. “I am not this story” I thought. I am who I am. I am. All stories, every story, an endless potential for any story to be told – this is who I am. “A man cannot use another man’s magic” said a druid. I cannot use druid magic, the magic passed on, related in druid legends and fairy tales. I have to find my own magic. I remembered a moment, many years ago, when the same thing happened. I was still in Poland then, about 22-ish, I think. I was just beginning to practice zen. I read every and any book about zen I could put my hands on, which at that time, in Poland, wasn’t all that many. My head was filled with Buddhas and Dharmas, with masters and students, with stories and proverbs, koans, openings and enlightenments. I remember sitting on a bus one day, going somewhere. It was a gloomy, cold winter morning. Everything was gray, with patches of white snow here and there. The snow did not sparkle, there was no sun. The bus struggled laboriously through narrow streets covered with ice and sleet. I was staring out the window. I was thinking. Zen concepts where swirling around, new ideas were emerging, thoughts were organizing themselves into new configurations, new insights, new understandings. Pieces fell into place. “I get it now!” I thought, elated and excited. “I can see it, I can understand it, I got it, I graduated!” I thought and realized that … this is all my head, my thoughts, stories. All those concepts, understandings, insights are stories, they have no substance, they are like a smoke, a smoke in my mind clouding me, cocooning me, restricting me … “stop right there!” I thought. And I stopped. I made a choice then. I chose to stop reading books about my practice. I chose to practice instead. I chose to learn from my life, from reality, from my experience, only. “I will learn from what I experience while sitting on my cushion” I decided. Not from stories written by other man. I cannot use another man’s magic. No matter how great the magic of Buddha, no mater how amazing the magic of great teachers, no matter how familiar the magic of druids, I cannot use another man’s magic. Who I am is my magic. I have to be who I am.

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