Silent Understanding

Currently, I am teaching a five week summer intensive on Queer Theory and one of my students told me that until she took this course she thought she understood everything and know she feels as if she understands nothing and is not even sure she understands herself at present. My response was, “I am so happy for you.” Understanding something often times means that you have to open yourself up to new understandings and release old ones. Today, I want to share a piece I read recently about understanding Zen. It resonated with my spirit and reinforced for me the teaching of don Miguel Ruiz who helped me understanding that it is what it is, nothing more, nothing less. We make things something because of the meaning and value we attach to it and the perspective we attach to it. We spoke about this at our last Love and Inspiration on Skype gathering. Energy is energy. It does not become something positive or negative until we attach a meaning to it. You may resonate or not with the story below about understanding Zen, but that will depend on you and the meanings you attach to it.

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Understanding Understanding

I have been thinking about this word for a few days now and while the academic part of my brain understands the word means to comprehend, my inner child keeps thinking about a time of sitting under my Bubby’s needlepoint. I remember it as if it was yesterday, but it was now probably 50 years ago, if not more. She was working on piece of needlepoint, sitting by her feet, and looking it up, all I could see was the underside with strings of yarn going all different places and many little knots. I remember wondering why she would want to create something so ugly, when we could be doing making something amazing like blowing bubbles that the light shone through and then floated up to heaven. Then she would have me climb up on her lap and look at her creation and it always looked so beautiful. I never saw any of the knots, strings, or anything else, which took away from its beauty. I could only see how it all came together to form one beautiful picture. It was at this young age, that my Bubby taught me that our understandings of the Ultimate Creator’s ways are not ours. The Ultimate sees things in one way and we see them in another. My Bubby taught me that we are standing under the Creator’s masterpiece and so we see things one way. However, there are moments in our life, when the Creator provides us with the opportunity to see the larger picture, just as my Bubby had helped me.

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