Monday, December 5, 2016

What You Seek is Seeking You

"An Abundance of Emptiness"
- At the Desert Retreat House -

On the Christian calendar, we are now in the middle of the Advent season – traditionally a period for spending some quiet time before the festive days of the Christmas celebration.  In my own life, I try to take advantage of the fact that I live in a desert and so every day I take a walk into the wilderness where I sit in silence in the midst of the vast emptiness and do some serious soul-searching, seeking direction, looking for deeper meaning in life.

It also seems to me that perhaps more than ever, people in this nation and in the whole world are searching for answers in this time of global unrest when the whole world seems to be more confused than ever before.

But, of course, you don’t have to be preparing for Christmas nor do you need to live in a desert  to be engaged in a process of soul-searching, looking for direction and for deeper meaning in life. Every single one of us is on some sort of quest for wisdom and it’s in our human nature to seek a "transcendence" beyond our own tiny selves. 

As I see it, this search for "transcendence" is ultimately a desire for union with “God.”

People often search for greater truth by going to a temple or a church, saying prayers, reading books or thinking really hard;” but in my “wilderness” experience I have learned that, on a spiritual journey, the harder you look the less you find. There is a Zen saying:

When you look for the ‘way’ you become far from it.
When you seek the ‘way’ you turn away from it all the more

The lesson I have learned from sitting alone in in the empty wilderness is that, for the most part, in our search for wisdom all we need to do is just sit quietly and patiently wait.  When I am able to sit in the wilderness with with an uncluttered mind and an open heart, the emptiness often brims with abundance and I soon discover that the “wisdom” I seek is actually seeking me.

In my search for “God” I have come to firmly believe that “God” seeks us far more than we seek “God.” The universal energy of Love is always on a quest, looking to enfold us and to embrace us, and all we need to do is not resist it.

In a beautiful poem/prayer, Islamic mystic, Rumi, puts it this way:

Listen, O drop, give yourself up without regret
 and in exchange gain the Ocean.
Listen, O drop, bestow upon yourself this honor
and in the arms of the Sea be secure,
Who indeed should be so fortunate?
An Ocean wooing a drop.

What you seek is seeking you!

In these December days of Advent, in a period when the nation and the world seem to be experiencing various forms of chaos and angst, a whole lot of soul-searching is going on. So today I remember that each of us is a drop in the great Ocean of “God,” the Ocean of Love in whom we all live and move and have our being, and we are all seeking union with that Ocean, deeper Wisdom, greater Truth. 

I also rest in the assurance that this Ocean of “God” wants us even more than we want “God.”

Who indeed should be so fortunate?
An Ocean is wooing a drop.


  1. I really love this idea of the proverbial "it" seeking us, not us seeking it. Waiting patiently for it's message.