This is a reprint from Holy Saturday 2007…
Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself? – Tao Te Ching
Birthing my son is the closest I have come to touching the hem of Death. In Tibet, they say childbirth is the closest one comes to death. I’d believe it. Mystically speaking, I find myself now in the space between death and birth.
Yesterday my good friend Cynthia reminded me of Holy Saturday. Jesus is dead; his body is in the tomb. The rug has been pulled out from underneath his family and friends. Each is reacting in his or her own way. Some are freaking out, others want answers.
On Holy Saturday, nothing appears to be happening. What is known is that Jesus is dead. What is unknown is who they are to become – as individuals and as a community. That is yet to be born.
Holy Saturday – the space between death and birth.
We find ourselves touching the hem of Death and yet reaching for the apron strings of Birth when we go through a transition in life.
The self I was before my son’s birth is no longer. Who I am to be is still being birthed. The Buddha teaches that there really is no self – self is an illusion. There is only Oneness.
Maybe Holy Saturday is a call for us to let go of our illusions of even death and birth…to go deeper into our Oneness – our true essence.
It is a time of staying with yourself until the chattering mind quiets down and you come face-to-face with a glimpse of your true essence.
This can be scary at first. We may freak out like the apostles in the upper room. We may mourn our own death like the women who went to tend to Jesus’ body. We may want to have control over something like Peter.
And yet, we want to let go. We feel the call within us to let go of our ego’s grip on the false stories of birth and death we’ve been telling ourselves. We are drawn into the deeper waters of the Unknown.
The only way I know how to “let go” is to be fully present with the experience of Holy Saturday. To be present with the fear of losing what is known. To be present with the hope that what emerges is something filled with abundance and beauty.
And how do we do let go?
– Well, whatever it is that is dying – whatever it is that is still yet to be birthed—we breathe with it.
– We “send” compassion to that space within us.
– We have the courage to breathe, cry, reach out, and wait until the mud settles and the water is clear.
– We have the courage to hope that if we remain unmoving – fully present to what is happening within us and around us – the next right action with arise by itself.