In gratitude to my dear friend Marianne Wobke, and to all my aboriginal friends and teachers, I would like to acknowledge all the ancestors and original custodians of every sacred spot, every inch of Planet Earth. And to humbly ask that all the work we do on ourselves and with others through Holotropic Breathwork and through all other ways, be not only for our own good but also for all Beings and for this Earth as well.
I feel as though I ought to try invoking the Muse somehow, to share what's in my heart -- or better yet, for Uluru to share with us what's in Her heart. Kind of like Homer, maybe: "Sing, oh Muse, of this adventure, and so on..." How can any of us say what anything really is? In fact, a number of the best-known world teachers have said, in their own way, that the beginning of awakening is to know that we don’t know.
This was my third pilgrimage to the center of Australia. Spent a good bit of time on the five hour drive from Alice Springs to Uluru with dear friends surrendering to the very real possibility that I was just being greedy -- that the incredible gifts I'd received from my first two visits were all I was going to get -- and feeling more and more deeply grateful for that. I was feeling like, "Who could ask for more?" If I died right then and there, in a beautiful way beyond words, I'd received more than I could have ever dreamed of already -- from Uluru, from this lifetime.
So, I inquired into that grasping, the obsession to add one more big experience. And did the best I could to offer it up, as the miles went by and the land, always out here a wild, dancing mystery, revealed Herself to me; as I awakened, to be more and more alive, one moment at a time. Opening to this moment, yet always knowing that Uluru was just so damn, out-and-out beautiful, that all I needed were two eyes to see, or one eye for that matter.
No, wait a minute: I didn't need eyes either. If I had ears I could listen -- to the sounds -- to the Silence. And if I didn't have ears, and no outward sense at all -- no body even -- no life as I had come to rely on to negotiate this sojourn on Planet Earth -- then there would be this bright center of consciousness that would feel the absolute thundering, creative Presence of this moment, this place.
And even if I had no way to process this eon-in-the-moment Presence, in the deep shadow of the vast red rock, no way to translate what it meant, this essence, to my surface mind, in the language of this earth -- then I might ultimately die here, give up another false self, and become this place. I might, if She were willing. Or not. But, like I was saying, this trip was, to be really blunt, pure gravy. I was just happy to be along for the ride.
For the past two years we’d arrived at sunset -- ridiculously, perfectly orchestrated timing -- there's nobody here. I mean, this is an amazing gift, because thousands of people come here every day. Actually, we aren't really supposed to be here either. As usual, this year, we are perfectly, sacredly sunset late. We come to Metitjulu -- the waterhole sacred to the aboriginal people. We have hardly spoken for an hour, as She came into view from kilometers back down the road.
Oh, and here's a herd of wild camels, sort of milling about between us and the spring hidden through a hallway of very ensouled trees a quarter mile deep into shadows, nestled in mother Uluru's flank and flowing from her heart. Okay, the camels. Later, after we left, it'd be like, "The camels! Are you kidding me? Did we just walk through a herd of wild camels guarded by a big old bad-ass bull famous (as we found out from the ranger who informed us that it was way past our bed time) for getting somewhat irate with hikers?" But when we got out of the car, all Uluru-struck and already way non-ordinary, it was like, " Oh, here's the herd of wild camels, ho hum, the camels, see them all the time..."
FLASHBACK: FOREST BEHIND TAV'S HOME, 1955, MACON, GEORGIA -- DAY
I'm sitting by a sacred spring amid whispering pines. I'm six years old. And this is my spot. I am too young to know why this spring is the gateway to my soul. I am too ancient not to be sitting here as a six year old, alone, instead of playing football around the neighborhood.
I have actually created this spring. No, really, I have. And not metaphorically either. Here's how: here in the forest, I find the perfect place for the sacred pool I see in my heart. Except it is dry and full of leaves. I clear it out anyway, and have an epiphany. I run back to my house, round up all my father's garden hoses, connect them, and then, knowing how to pray because I've been to Catholic Church, I pray they'll reach down in the woods to my pool. They do.
So I turn on the water at the faucet next to my house, and sit while my pool begins to fill, and fill, and fill, and keep on trying to fill but not quite being able to, for some reason I can't figure till I run a little deeper into the forest. And there, I really find it -- the true sacred spring -- bubbling up from deep in the earth, creating the pool amid the pines. I guess because there is a hole in the first one and the water keeps draining out of it, deep down, to emerge in the place I finally discover.
And so I sit there day after day, just sitting, loving my pool. Until my dad gets the water bill, and cuts me off at the source.
BACK TO PRESENT: ULURU, WATERHOLE, TWILIGHT, PRESENT
Some teachers, shamans and others, talk about the need for finding our spot during deep trance. Something about a cosmic alignment between dimension after dimension that we stumble upon, or search for, or just get graced by so we can be an open window between the worlds. If I may be so bold, Uluru, this ever-shifting prism at the center of the world, feels like it’s my spot: the most beautiful, powerful place I have ever been in the little bit of wandering I have been allowed to do over Planet Earth.
It's my sacred spring. But way more than that. For me, it's a meeting of Heaven and Earth -- one of those places where all the forces of the Mystery converge. Where boundaries between this plane and all other dimensions blur. For me, It is a way-shower, and this is part of the message: for whatever reason, we can be graced to experience a place where the world turns inside out, where the invisible becomes visible, and the manifest dissolves once more into the realm of all possibility.
There’s a prayer of Mother Mary that comes to mind, one that I have been wont to recite to myself through the years. And as any good authentic deep prayer will, the words have changed form as I’ve prayed them, as well as the meaning, down through chanting of it, as more of its truth reveals itself. It goes something like this: ”… and blessed is the fruit of thy womb…”
Mother Uluru showed me something that first time, a level of opening that was a graceful realization for me, and definitely a cosmic upgrade. There are spiritual systems that say that all of creation on all levels is the Mother. And if this is the case, then according to this prayer, this all-creation that we sojourn in is the fruit of the Mother’s womb. But the good part is, according to this prayer, that it is all blessed. Blessed. This is what I felt at Uluru that first time, and each of the three times I’ve been.
But that’s not all. It’s not just that Uluru is the fruit of the Divine Mother’s womb. Sure, Uluru, and every sacred spot on this earth is blessed. But you know what? I’d like to imagine that every particle that spins up out of the quantum level of possibility – out of the womb of creation itself – is blessed. Every single one. And all Earth – all Earth -- is sacred ground. Every place is a power spot, an altar to the Mystery, and sacred beyond imagining. Each molecule a sacred spring. Each aggregation of molecules a shifting monolithic red rock at the center of a sacred earth. Each being a little child in the forest behind the house, at the sacred pool of his or her dreams. At a doorway between our own individual worlds and the great Mystery that awaits our awakening.
So this is what the little boy felt in the woods behind his house. Thank you, Mother Uluru, for letting me know you were listening then, and will always, always be listening.
All praise to the Ancestors for accepting and allowing our presence here and now as we each, alone and together, gather at our sacred pools. Thank you for this One Great Sacred Space.