I moved to this beautiful new space full of light and wind last July. Until recently, I haven’t used this corner beside my bed. At first it was because there was a leak that it would form puddles when it rains. The repair from the roofing outside took months and I have lost all my patience and started neglecting this space. I stopped valuing it and all my anticipation of starting fresh in this home lost its energy as time went by.
Then finally it happened, it finally got fixed a few weeks ago. My inner Marie Kondo was flowing with joy unpacking boxes and all. I’ve decided to make this my altar so I can meditate right away after waking up facing this sacred corner and the wide open view of the mountains and the sunset beside it. Inspired, I placed my altar items on its glass shelves. Then thinking like a home improvement professional, I trimmed a pre cut wiring that was dangling off it from an older lighting fixture installed from within. To my shock, the wiring burst and blew the power out, leaving some burnt marks on the freshly painted white panels. Instead of being grateful to be alive, I was pissed at the electrician who never showed up for days. Taking out the items and placing them back to their storage boxes, I started to grow distaste for this corner once again. Much more than before because I had a short-lived holy moment of finally feeling settled.
Then it hit me. All I have always been reminding others and myself since I met the Dalai Laima is to bring the sacred in every day — to see the Dalai Lama in myself and everyone. In this case, every thing. So mindfully, I let go of the need to scold whoever answers the building maintenance line on the phone. I let go of the perfection of what sacred really means. Even more, when the electrician finally showed up and said, “Oh, we only need to place electric tape on it.” I thought of smacking him after realising the endless frustration anticipating the breaking down of this wall and his failure to show up increasing my anxiety of the fire hazard beside me as I slept for several nights. In the end, the solution was simple. Something I could have just done myself.
Allowing my inner Khaleesi, dragons and all, to calm down, I then surrendered to this corner’s gift. It was, as it turned out, to be blessed with both water and fire. Two sacred elements that made all life possible on this planet, that made me who I am. Why yes, even this corner, an accidental grotto baptised with rain puddles and electric sparks.
Recently, there’s massive flooding north of my country, in Venice, and a cyclone in South Asia, while bush fires are ravaging in Australia happening at the same time. We know this is now the new normal of too much water and too much fire as the climate crisis intensifies. Restoring the sacred in the chaos includes accepting it, grieving it, and taking ownership of it. Then perhaps, the invitation of this life threatening experience is to fix the brokenness in our home like tape — but with a kind of mending with gold paint used in Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repair that increases the value of what used to be broken things.
Today, 5 years ago, I met the Dalai Lama and I still have yet to write all the serendipities and synchronicities that led me to it. However today, I think I wrote about it — about making anything sacred out of the ordinary. After all, this was the message of my mind bending experience that I still can’t, or maybe even selfishly, won’t verbalise because I will lose its magic. Nonetheless, I have this extraordinary corner of my room to remind me of this special day today. #soilsoulstory