Slow (for #SAND2018)

Note to readers:  In this era, your attention is a valuable commodity- everyone wants it. Mostly to monetize it. It’s a radical act to choose an attentive life, a life of nuance. This was written for the Science and NonDuality (SAND) summer gathering in July of 2018, where very attentive people gather to experience and investigate beingness and the nature of reality.


The pulsation between fine parsing
and taking in the wholeness
first you are a nanoscope – then Hubble in the deep field
now splitting hairs splitting atoms splitting moments
then the mystery again, the soft Sufi gaze into the space between

Every day you wake up
Have you noticed the transition from sleep to wake
The moment before you remember that you have a body
When your dreams are rolling fast away to distant plains
Fading to innocence
Waking up isn’t a single movement
It is a series of notes and flavors
Expand it and feel the tone inside the tone

Everyday you take your tea
Usually in a gulp while editing, half present
Until one day amid the earthenware pot the straw mat the woven cloth the small white flower
You feel the tea on your tongue
its temperature its roundness its overt flavor
then the undertone or bitterness or the soil it was grown in
notice it moving through the your pipes and out to the blood stream to the edges of the skin where it dilates and plumps
and you are so enthralled
you wait
before taking the next sip

Every day you have a meal
ChemAg would have you taste nothing
Smother you in sugar to mask what is not-food
Then sitting at a farmhouse table in the rolling countryside
You might be given a teaspoon of buckwheat honey with real butter and fatgrained salt on thick dark bread
And the mouth is confused and intrigued at the strange density
Or perhaps someone grates fresh ginger, grinds mint from the garden into chilled seltzer and the bite of it is a real taste but somehow you have forgotten these plants and the way they really are
And even this fine presencing:
they will cut an animal into parts and grind its flesh in a grinder and you will eat its muscle and blood and somehow not taste the suffering

Everyday you make love
Do you notice the rapid swell of her lips
Of the exact texture of his sweat
Or how the pupils dilate when you are being welcomed to the inner world
How the breath and cry rise and fall differently depending on the time of day and the weather
How her walls change their grip and viscosity on the full moon
The many many moods of the lowing moan

Attention is like this:
The Sami People of northernmost europe have 300 different words concerning snow
The Hawaiʻi maoli name 108 kinds of blood relatives in their Ohana Lala
Sanskrit has 96 words for love
The insect and bird orchestra of the Umbrian countryside in July sounds a perfect C chord across 2 octaves
One moment the air is outside of you and then it is inside and is you and for a fraction of a fraction of a second it is neither
and you notice that too

Unattended, the pace of this world will bludgeon the senses and dull our perceptions
It will always choose the butterfly over the moth
It will beat us with slogans and simplified arguments
It will insist that there are “sides”

A life of nuance
Won’t come gift wrapped by culture
Nuance takes time
Subtlety takes time
Noticing takes time
Conversations that dance across traumas and tease out conditioning
Until we are able to have both the heart soft and our choices free
These take time

It is a deliberate harvest of yes
It is a choosing
yes to this rich roll around in the field of manifest matter
yes yes yes to this romp with shakti
She that invites you to slow celebration, to wonder and ongoing awe
To these infinite flavors of the one
looking back at the one

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